Friday, July 19, 2024

Europe’s stocks gained following tough week fuelled by political uncertainty

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Stocks in the UK are now collectively worth more than in France, according to data compiled by Bloomberg

Europe’s top stocks saw modest gains on Monday after a bruising week(PA Archive/PA Images)

Europe’s leading stocks experienced slight gains early this week following a toughfew days that saw London surpass Paris as the host of Europe’s largest stock market.

On Monday London’s FTSE 100 managed to recover some of its losses from the day, but barely ended in the red, falling by 4.71 points, or 0.06%, to 8,142.15. France’s Cac 40 had a much more positive session after losing over 6% of its value last week due to increased political uncertainty in the country.

The index, which includes BNP Paribas, LVMH and L’Oreal among its constituents, was up by 0.91%. However, according to Bloomberg data, UK stocks are now collectively worth more than those in France, reflecting the impact of a challenging week for the French stock market.

Danni Hewson, AJ Bell’s head of financial analysis, commented that London’s “newly-regained crown lost a little of its lustre” during Monday afternoon. “But the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 was still showing signs of the life that has helped the UK take back the title of Europe’s biggest stock market,” she added.

Over in the US, trading started slowly with the S&P 500 up by 0.1% and the Dow Jones remaining more or less flat by the time European markets closed. The pound fell about 0.1% against the US dollar to 1.268, and dropped 0.2% against the euro to 1.183.

Brent crude oil prices rose by 0.8% to approximately 83 US dollars per barrel. In corporate news, shares in Mind Gym plummeted to an unprecedented low after it disclosed a challenging year that resulted in a pre-tax loss of £12million. The company, which is led by behavioural science, admitted it couldn’t dodge the “unable to escape the headwinds that have been felt widely across HR services”, as companies cut back on spending or redirected their budgets.

This announcement sent Mind Gym’s shares spiralling to a record low, ending 22.1% down. The top climbers on the FTSE 100 on Monday were Beazley, rising 19p to 673.5p, B&M European, increasing 11.5p to 474.5p, Hargreaves Lansdown, up 22.5p to 1,073.5p, Entain, climbing 13.2p to 669.2p, and Intermediate Capital, jumping 42p to 2,234p.

The largest decliners on the FTSE 100 were ConvaTec, falling 9.6p to 244.2p, Melrose Industries, dropping 22.6p to 578p, Severn Trent, down 89p to 2,385p, Ocado, slipping 9.8p to 347.5p, and United Utilities, decreasing 25p to 1,011.5p.

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