Market Report

18th December 2018 at 5:09 pm

UK and European stocks closed lower amid escalating concerns about a slowing global economy.

U.S. stocks rebounded, recovering some of the steep losses of the prior trading session that sent both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 down more than 2 percent.

The dollar fell to a one-week low as investors unwound long bets on the currency, anticipating the Federal Reserve could slow the pace of U.S. interest rate hikes after this week’s policymaking meeting.

Oil prices dived to a 15-month low as the United States and Russia continue to pump at record levels ahead of planned output cuts by OPEC and its allies.

Gold rose to a one-week high, helped by a weaker U.S. dollar and a fall in global stocks, but moves were limited as investors sought clarity on the path of U.S. interest rates.

In corporate news, National Grid was the standout loser as electricity regulator Ofgem proposed price controls for networks as part of its plans to save consumers £45 per year. The company said it was “disappointed” with the proposed financial package for the next price control period from 2021, particularly the cost of equity range, which it does not believe appropriately reflects the level of risk borne by transmission networks.

Shire was under the cosh following heavy falls for Takeda overnight, after Moody’s cut its credit rating on the pharmaceutical company by three notches to Baa2 from A2.

Wood Group was in the red as it said it has won a 10-year contract worth $66m to supply programmable digital control technologies to the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, UK.

Royal Dutch Shell was lower following a report that the oil giant is in talks to buy Endeavor Energy Resources for about $8bn. Bloomberg cited a person familiar with the matter as saying that discussions have not reached an advanced stage, with matters complicated by founder Autry Stephens’ desire to retain a large quantity of its mineral rights. More broadly, energy-related shares took a hit as oil prices slid amid supply glut worries.

 

Markets

At the close
FTSE 100 6,701 (-1.06%)
FTSE 250 17,495 +0.45%
DAX 10,740 (-0.29%)

At 16:55
Dow Jones 23,816 +0.95%
S&P 500 2,560 +0.57%
NASDAQ 6,803 +0.73%

 

Fixed Income
UK 10-YR YIELD 1.28

 

Exchange Rates
GBP/USD 1.264
GBP/EUR 1.112

 

Commodities
Gold $1,248 +0.22%
Brent $57.109 (-2.79%)