LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 fell on Wednesday, dragged down by heavyweight commodity stocks, while a bigger-than-expected jump in inflation stoked fears the central bank may tighten its monetary policy earlier than expected.
The blue-chip index fell 1.2%, with miners declining 3.9% after metal prices slipped. Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell slid more than 1% each.
The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index fell 0.4%.
Official figures showed British consumer price inflation more than doubled in April to 1.5%. The Bank of England hopes the surge in inflation will be temporary as the economy recovers from last year’s Covid-19 slump.
A jump in regulated electricity and gas bills, and clothing and footwear prices pushed up the inflation reading. Prices charged by manufacturers also rose by 3.9%, while inputs prices increased by 9.9%, the most since February 2017.
Among individual stocks, Ferguson climbed 2.2% to hit a record high after the plumbing and heating parts distributor reported a 65.4% jump in its third-quarter profit.
John Laing Group jumped 11.2% after private-equity firm KKR agreed to buy the British infrastructure investor in a deal valued at about 2 billion pounds ($2.84 billion).