Belfast Telegraph

Global stocks wobble ahead of tense G7 summit

US President Donald Trump is expected to confront global leaders over trade.

Stocks were in the red at the end of the week as world leaders touched down in Quebec for what is likely to be a tense G7 summit.

Theresa May has landed in Canada, but will not be meeting Donald Trump after he fired off a series of tweets about the European Union’s “unfair” trade tariffs.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC, said: “European stocks spent much of the session in the red as trade tensions weighed on investor sentiment.

“The G7 meeting gets under way today in Quebec, and investors are cautious as certain trading relationships are a little strained.”

The FTSE 100 closed the session down 23.33 points or 0.3% at 7,681.07, while Germany’s Dax was down 0.35% and the Cac 40 in France was flat.

Oil prices were on the back foot once again after a volatile week of trading.

Brent crude prices fell 1.25% to 76.447 US dollars per barrel after data from China showed demand dropped by 4.1% in May.

In currency markets, the pound was down 0.12% against the US dollar at 1.340 as Mr Trump’s tough stance on trade helped the currency. Sterling rose 0.13% against the euro to 1.138.

BT’s shares climbed 1% or 2p to 204.95p when its chief executive Gavin Patterson announced his departure.

Despite recently launching a transformation plan to save £1.5 billion for the firm, Mr Patterson said on Friday that he will leave later this year.

Mr Madden said: “It is believed that a number of influential investors have lost confidence in Mr Patterson and they would like to see someone else lead the firm through the restructuring period.

“Mr Patterson was appointed CEO in September 2013, but since February 2016, the stock has dropped 59%, and this has put additional pressure on him.”

Fuller, Smith and Turner has attempted to shrug off another “tough year”, but a lacklustre set of figures saw its share price fall 10p to 960p during trading.

The pubs group reported a 3% rise in total revenue at £403.6 million, though adjusted pre-tax profits rose just 1% to £43.2 million over the year to March 31.

Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe celebrated a £1.1 million pay rise, even as he faced severe criticism for stripping staff of benefits.

The supermarket chief executive, who is attempting to merge Sainsbury’s with rival Asda, has received a £3.4 million pay package for 2017-18, according to the company’s annual report. Shares were up 1.2p to 304.8p.

Shares in fantasy miniatures maker Games Workshop were down over 6% after the company said it intends to halve its full-year dividend to 30p.

The Nottingham-based group said on Friday that it expects to report annual pre-tax profit of at least £74 million, up from last year’s £38.4 million, but investors were nervous about first-quarter figures.

The City regulator made steps towards a two trillion US dollar (£1.5 trillion) London flotation of Saudi Aramco in a controversial decision published on Friday.

The Financial Conduct Authority said that it would create a new category from July 1 that will allow sovereign-controlled companies to sidestep some of the requirements for premium listings.

Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors, described the decision as “deeply disappointing”, arguing that it would water down corporate governance requirements.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Barratt Developments up 12.8p to 586p, Reckitt Benckiser up 115p to 5,874p, Smurfit Kappa up 46p to 2,962p and Associated British Foods up 34p to 2,740p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Fresnillo down 83p to 1,216p, Standard Life Aberdeen down 13p to 351p, Antofagasta down 36.5p to 1,098.5p and Evraz down 14p to 499.4p.

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