After another weak session on Wall Street last night, the negative tone spread to Asia on Thursday with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down 1.3% amid concerns about a sharp slowdown in China’s economic growth. European stocks also slipped, albeit by a smaller amount.
The FTSE 100 dropped 0.2% to 6,914, with healthcare, mining, and financials among the weakest sectors.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The more domestic-focused FTSE 250 index also fell by 0.2% amid ongoing political chaos. Investors are clearly nervous about the economic outlook for the UK, as illustrated by the type of shares that were falling the most. They included ITV, which is partially a play on corporate advertising demand, WH Smith and Moonpig which represent consumer spending, and Vistry whose fortunes are highly leveraged to the state of the housing market.
“After being in falling trend since the start of the week, the 30-year gilt yield started to move higher again late yesterday afternoon amid the uproar in Parliament. The yield traded just at 4.039% early on Thursday. The trend is worth watching but there doesn’t seem to be any major panic on the markets at this time.”