LONDON MARKETS: London Markets Climb As End Of May Era Looms

Date : 05/22/2019 @ 9:48PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : FTSE 100 Index (UKX)
Quote : 7190.13  -21.51 (-0.30%) @ 9:18PM
FTSE 100 share price Chart

LONDON MARKETS: London Markets Climb As End Of May Era Looms

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By Dave Morris

London markets struggled for direction, as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's waning influence appeared to signal an end to the Brexit deadlock.

How did markets perform?

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.5% to 7,368.1, adding to Wednesday's gain of 0.2%

The pound gave back much of Wednesday's gains, sinking 0.3% to $1.2671. It was up 0.4% Wednesday.

What's moving the markets?

China's Washington Ambassador Cui Tiankai said the country was ready to continue trade talks with the U.S., telling Fox News that "our door is still open" (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-diplomacy/china-ready-for-further-u-s-trade-talks-ambassador-says-idUSKCN1SR2K3). Tiankai also blamed the U.S. for changing its mind "overnight" and breaking the tentative deal reached in previous negotiations. Meanwhile, the U.S. considered adding more Chinese companies to its blacklist, which already includes Huawei. The New York Times reported (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/21/us/politics/hikvision-trump.html) that video surveillance equipment firm Hikivision Digital Technology could potentially be restricted from buying U.S. technology.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's concessions to her Brexit deal were met with predictable scorn from hard-line Brexiteers within her own party, as well as the opposition Labour Party, according to media reports. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called it a "rehash of her bad old deal", (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tories-reject-may-s-final-attempt-at-brexit-deal-jzhtcv3hz) while Conservative leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab were staunchly critical. Environment secretary Michael Gove, an influential Brexiteer, indicated on the BBC's Today radio program that the proposal may not be brought forward for a vote.

In economic data, the U.K. reported lower than expected inflation. Purchasing Power Index (PPI) output in April was 2.1% higher than a year ago, though lower than predictions of 2.3%.

Which stocks are active?

Marks & Spencer Group PLC (MKS.LN) shares fell 8% after reporting fiscal 2019 profits were dented by restructuring costs. It also announced details of a GBP601.3 million rights issue, signaled in February, to fund its joint venture with online grocer Ocado Group PLC(OCDO.LN). Adjusted pretax profit fell 10% to GBP523.2 million.

Royal Mail PLC (RMG.LN) jumped 5.5% despite delivering the unwelcome news that the privatized postal service's dividend would be cut, in order to fund investment in new services focused on parcel growth from e-commerce, as letter mail volumes decline.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 22, 2019 09:33 ET (13:33 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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