After yesterday’s UK inflation figure shock, it’s no wonder investors weren’t feeling too hungry for equities on Thursday. European markets didn’t want to get out of bed, with minimal movements across the main indices.
The FTSE 100 was dragged down by some big names trading without the rights to their next dividend, with the index slipping 0.2% in early trading. Relevant names going ex-dividend included Anglo American, GSK, London Stock Exchange, Aviva, HSBC, M&G, Legal & General and Imperial Brands.
Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “There were some big movements among small-cap stocks, including a 14.5% jump in electrical goods seller AO. The market liked the clarity on the cost of exiting its German business, coming in at the lower end of original guidance. The company was also remarkably upbeat, although that may simply be AO putting on a brave face despite a multitude of problems in the background.
“Fishing equipment seller Angling Direct was unable to catch a whopper with its latest trading update. The hot weather has not been kind to lakes and rivers, with some favourite fishing spots running dry. That’s had a negative impact on demand for fishing equipment, as has the cost-of-living crisis with many people simply not able to afford their usual treats or hobbies.”