LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 marked its worst session in nearly three weeks on Tuesday, dragged down by commodity-linked and bank stocks, while a stronger pound weighed on export-oriented companies. The blue-chip index dropped 0.9%, pulled down by miners, energy and major banking stocks. Dollar-earnings consumer staples companies Unilever, Diageo, and British American Tobacco were among the biggest drags on the export-heavy index as sterling hit over a week’s high against the dollar.
The FTSE 100 has gained nearly 10% so far this year on government stimulus support and record low interest rates but has largely underperformed its European and domestic mid-cap peers and continues to be one of the lowest valued markets. British online grocer and technology group Ocado slipped 4.2% despite the company saying the demand for its grocery business and technology remained strong after it announced a 20% rise in first-half retail revenue.
Miners including Rio Tinto, Glencore, Anglo American and BHP fell between 2.2% and 2.8% and were the biggest drags.
While oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell fell 4.1% and 2.1%, respectively, tracking weaker crude. The domestically focussed mid-cap index slipped 0.6%.
Among stocks, British supermarket group Sainsbury’s rose 0.6% after it beat expectations for first-quarter sales though growth slowed sharply. Private equity firm Bridgepoint said it would list on the London Stock Exchange to raise 300 million pounds ($417 million) to support its growth plans as the sector revs up.