Weak global mood hits UK shares, Cineworld marks box office recovery
By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) – UK shares slid on Friday, reflecting the weaker mood in global markets over fears about faster U.S. rate hikes, although data pointing to a much stronger-than-expected economic recovery in November helped limit losses.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 slipped 0.3%, tracking global equities as investors considered imminent U.S. interest rate hikes and the uncertainty of their impact on the economy.
Still, the FTSE 100 recorded a fourth consecutive weekly gain, with energy stocks outpacing other sectors as crude prices were boosted by supply constraints and a weaker dollar. [O/R]
Data showed Britain’s economy grew by a much stronger-than-expected 0.9% in November, finally taking it above its size just before the country went into its first COVID-19 lockdown.
“The figures show the economy was in good shape during November though the surge of Omicron during December and January is likely to put downward pressure on the figures over the next couple of months,” said Dan Boardman-Weston, chief investment officer at BRI Wealth Management.
“The Bank of England will continue to face pressure to raise interest rates further if the economy continues to be so strong.”
The FTSE midcap index slipped 0.9% and posted its worst weekly decline since November, with homebuilders turning into a weak spot in recent days following a slew of discounted stock placements and weak trading updates.
Cineworld shares rose 4.0% as the company’s box office sales recovered in December due to the success of Marvel superhero film “Spider-Man: No Way Home”.
Discount retailer B&M European Value Retail fell 5.3% after its share sale announcement.
Electricals retailer Currys fell 6.9% as it trimmed its full-year profit guidance after what it called a “challenging” technology market at Christmas.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Alison Williams)