FTSE 100 falls to month’s lows as US and Asian markets decline, Sensex almost 500 points down

·2 min read
UK’s retail sales data shows a decline as restaurants open after pandemic restrictions  (AFP via Getty Images)
UK’s retail sales data shows a decline as restaurants open after pandemic restrictions (AFP via Getty Images)

London’s FTSE 100 fell sharply on Friday to the lowest levels in almost a month as heavyweight financial and commodity-linked stocks declined, following the sell-off triggered by US Federal Reserve’s decision this week.

The blue-chip index fell by 136 points or 1.9 per cent at 7,017, way below the pre-pandemic levels it attained this week. The domestically-focused FTSE 250 also crashed almost one per cent.

Meanwhile, data coming out of the UK also showed retail sales fell in May, following the reopening of restaurants as pandemic restrictions were lifted.

At the currency market, the US dollar surged to a 10-week high, while the pound fell to $1.38, its lowest level since early May.

The companies leading the losses on FTSE 100 were engineering firm Melrose and mining giant Anglo American, which lost five per cent each, following falls in commodity prices.

UK investors also await the Bank of England’s meeting next week where the policymakers are expected to react to the inflation levels of over two per cent, above BoE’s target. Last week, US Fed’s hawkish turn worried investors.

Across the Atlantic, US stocks also heavily declined following comments from Fed official James Bullard over interest rates rising earlier than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 posted their worst weekly performance in weeks, as both crashed around 1.5 per cent on Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also declined almost one per cent.

On Monday, Asian stocks declined following the global peers, as Japan’s Nikkei 225 crashed by over 1,000 point or 3.5 per cent by noon. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.4 per cent and mainland Chinese stocks fell in first half of trade as the Shanghai composite declined 0.2 per cent.

Indian indices also opened lower, mirroring global markets. Sensex opened 487 points down, recovering some losses after early minutes. The NSE Nifty is below 15,500.

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