Growth fears drag on FTSE 100; AVEVA soars as Schneider mulls buyout

2 minute read

The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
  • Eyes on Jackson Hole summit
  • HSBC, Shell top drags on FTSE 100
  • FTSE 100 down 0.2%, FTSE 250 flat

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Commodity and financial stocks dragged the UK's FTSE 100 lower on Wednesday on worries about a slowdown in global economic growth, although a jump in AVEVA Group on buyout news and a weaker pound helped limit losses on the exporter-heavy index.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 (.FTSE)edged down 0.2% for a third consecutive session of losses, while the midcap FTSE 250 index (.FTMC)reversed an earlier drop to a new five-week low to close unchanged.

AVEVA (AVV.L) soared 27% after French industrial conglomerate Schneider (SCHN.PA), which owns nearly 60% of the software company, said it was considering buying out minority shareholders. read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

Business surveys released the previous day showed the global economy increasingly at risk of sliding into recession, while in Britain a fall in factory output slowed private sector activity in August. read more

"What is driving the FTSE 100 down is natural gas prices getting back close to record highs in the UK which is potentially feeding into the negativity in the index," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets said.

"People have suddenly realised that there are certain parts of the FTSE 100 that are likely to be fairly negatively affected by shrinking consumer incomes."

British wholesale gas prices rose on Wednesday, further exacerbating concerns about a cost-of-living crisis in the country.

Investors are betting on another 50-basis-point rate hike from the Bank of England next month as inflation climbs past 10%.0#BOEWATCH

More broadly, markets are waiting for the Kansas City Federal Reserve's annual summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week with the U.S. central bank looking like it could manage a "soft landing", but the outlook for Europe is far more worrying. read more

"What's stressing investors is the Jackson Hole summit and the comments from (Federal Reserve Chair Jerome) Powell that could have an impact on the rates and the equity market given the PMI data confirmed Europe's economy is not in great shape," said Roland Kaloyan, European equity strategist at Societe Generale.

Among stocks, HSBC (HSBA.L) slipped 1.9% after China's Ping An Insurance Group defended its call to spin off the lender's Asia business, saying it cared about investment returns from its large stake but was not an activist investor. read more

Oil majors BP (BP.L) and Shell (SHEL.L) fell more than 1% each tracking volatile crude prices. Miners (.FTNMX551020) slipped 1.9%.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
Reporting by Johann M Cherian, Sruthi Shankar and Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.