UK Economic Contraction Steeper Than First Estimated

Monday, 29 September: European bourses opened the week unsure where to go, with the FTSE treading water as trade tensions and political dramas weighed, although sterling had a fairly stable and quiet day.  Asian markets were mixed overnight as the Nikkei dropped 0.56%.

After the attacks on Saudi oil fields sent prices up almost 9/10% higher, the price has continued to slip back and now rests just above $60 p/bbl, which unsurprisingly weighed on the majority of oil & gas shares. The FTSE 350 sector dropping 1% on the day.

Whitbread was amongst the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 after a broker downgrade. The Premier Inn owner faces headwinds domestically but brokers remain optimistic about the longer-term view. Shares declined 3.9% today.

Earlier in the session pharma giant GSK sat at the top of the index after promising results from trials in a new ovarian cancer drug.  As the trading session progressed it was tobacco shares who ended up being the best performing. Imperial Brands climbed over 3% but this obviously follows some sizeable losses after the recent bad press surrounding vaping and the potential health implications.

Earlier this morning UK GDP data was released, revising Q2 figures where needed. GDP data showed growth in Q2 UK GDP at 1.3%, versus estimates of 1.2%. During the quarter GDP growth was lower by 0.2% QoQ and business investment fell 0.5% and 1.6% on the year. Aside from this it was a fairly quiet day, and the FTSE eventually finished -0.24%, unable to latch onto current gains during Wall Street’s opening session of the week. As we leave the Dow is currently 0.6% higher.

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