Financials Weigh on FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 struggled on Thursday, as it was weighed down by some losses among financial stocks, with miner Lonmin helping to offset that difficulty after a rescue takeover bid was well received by investors.

UNDEFINED - Friday, December 15, 2017

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The UK’s leading index fell by 0.46 percent, down to 7,462 points, seeing little impact from the Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates on hold. The decision was widely expected, as the economy appears to be slowing down following uncertainty over the country’s plans to exit the European Union.

A similar scenario played out in the mid caps, with HSBC, Lloyds and Standard Chartered all dragging the FTSE down. The US Federal Reserve has taken a less hawkish tone than many investors had expected, and this was reflected in the markets. The UK’s BoE policymakers also surprised some investors, by voting unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.5 percent, a month after the had made the decision to make the first rate increase in a decade. Banks tend to profit when interest rates rise, but the BoE has decided to adopt a wait and see approach as the Brexit negotiations continue.

Miner Lonmin is up by 19 percent after Sibanye-Stillwater agreed to buy the platinum mining company in a deal which places the company at a value of 285 million pounds. Over the last five years shares in Lonmin have fallen by 98 percent, and the current shareholders will have a stake of 11 percent in the combined company.

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