Sunday, December 10

Banks drag UK’s FTSE 100 lower; all eyes on US inflation data

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UK’s FTSE 100 ticked lower in choppy trading on Tuesday as bank stocks fell, while data showed a drop in jobless rate and rising wages that could pile more pressure on the Bank of England looking to rein in surging inflation.

Investors also awaited crucial inflation figures from the United States ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week.

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The blue-chip FTSE 100 index eased 0.1% at 7:15 GMT, with HSBC Holdings and Lloyds Group among the worst performers.

Rate-sensitive banks fell 0.8%, snapping a three-day rally.

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Data on Tuesday showed Britain’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1974 at 3.6% in the three months to July as more people left the labor market, while wages picked up pace adding to signs of price pressures in the labor market.

Limiting some losses, mining stocks added 0.6% on a weaker dollar.

Aveva Group Plc gained 3.2% after Sky News reported that French industrial group Schneider Electric was nearing a deal to take full control of the British software company for about 3.5 billion pounds ($4.1 billion).

Online supermarket Ocado Retail slid 11.8% after it downgraded its full-year outlook as shoppers trade down to cheaper products and buy fewer items in a cost of living crisis. (Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)