London’s equity bourse was under pressure on Thursday as investors monitored geopolitical headlines and shares of companies tied to commodities fell. A surging British pound also weighed on multinational companies.
The FTSE 100 index
dropped 1.2% to 7,515, and the British pound
climbed 0.3% to $1.3635. A stronger pound can impact the main index by weighing on blue chips that derive revenue from overseas.
and U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate
crude prices fell 2% as investors balanced reports of progress toward a nuclear agreement with Iran against fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Shell stock
was down nearly 1%.
Stocks in London were also tracking early losses on Wall Street that came amid increased concerns over a conflict breaking out on European soil due to the Russia-Ukraine tensions.
Read: Blinken to speak at U.N. Security Council on Russia’s ‘threat to peace,’ says State Department
And: Here’s the technology being used to watch Russian troops as Ukraine invasion fears linger
Among the bright spots, shares of Reckitt Benckiser
climbed 5% to the top of the gainer’s list after the consumer-goods group gave upbeat margin guidance, and revenue on a same store basis beat expectations. The company also swung to a pretax loss for 2021.
Elsewhere, luxury goods retailer Burberry
got a 1.6% lift after positive results from French luxury conglomerate Kering
Banks and the metals sector were also adding to downward pressure in London, with HSBC
dropping 1% after rival Standard Chartered
reported profits that fell short of expectations.