Home > FTSE 100 closes lower ahead of Friday’s shortened session

FTSE 100 closes lower ahead of Friday’s shortened session

  • The FTSE 100 ended 0.2% lower but remains on track for a 15% gain in 2021

  • The benchmark UK index however lags European peers, with Stoxx 600 tagging gains over 21% and CAC 40 eyeing returns near 30%.

  • UK and France markets will open for a half-day session on Friday, while Germany, Italy and Spanish markets will remain closed

FTSE 100 edge lower after hitting a 22-month peak

UK’s FTSE 100 closed lower on Thursday, shedding 0.2% to cut into its year-to-date gains as investors head for a shortened Friday session.

Britain’s stock market will close early on 31 December due to the New Year’s Eve celebrations, and the intraday performance today was largely weighed down by these and the rising Covid-19 infections.

On Wednesday, UK shares edged higher by 0.7% to 7,420.69 as investors returned on a positive note following the extended Christmas holiday. While the market was weighed down by thinned trading, gains in defensive stocks led as the benchmark index hit a 22-month high.

Unilever and BAT among losers

In the Thursday session, the FTSE 100 clipped some of the previous day’s gains amid a slight sell-off in consumer staples and industrials. Despite the losses, the blue-chip FTSE 100 is set to close the year around 15% higher for its best calendar year returns since 2009.

In individual stocks, Unilever (ULVR), British American Tobacco (BATS), and Reckitt Benckiser (RKT) had all seen gains of 0.5% to 2% in the last session. However, they all traded lower to close at -0.2%, -0.3%, and -0.4% respectively.

The biggest gainer in the FTSE 100 in 2021 is Ashtead Group (AHT), a London-based industrial equipment firm whose stock is down 1.83% today, but on track for a 75% return for the year.

In Europe

European shares closed slightly higher on Thursday to see them eye a second consecutive week of gains. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.2%, led by encouraging moves in the tech stocks. There were also minor gains for healthcare and travel stocks.

A similar outlook prevailed across Germany's DAX  and the French CAC 40, which rose 2.1% and 1.6% respectively.  

The Stoxx 600 is on track for a 22% jump in 2021, although that is marginally lower than France's CAC 40, which is up 29.2% year-to-date.

Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Open my Account

We use cookies to personalise content & ads, provide social media features and offer you a better experience. By continuing to browse the site or clicking "OK, Thanks" you are consenting to the use of cookies on this website.