Doubts persist as the FTSE stumbles

As we head towards the end of the week without a resolution having come out of the Brussels EU summit, equity markets have sold off into the uncertainty.

Source: Bloomberg

Market jitters are once more emerging to undermine the bullish sentiment that had us on course for the best week for three months. Tumbling oil prices are once more acting as a constraint to FTSE bulls, and there is a feeling that energy prices could provide a drag on UK investor sentiment for some time to come.

The rally in gold over the past 24 hours highlights the fact that many are donning their tin hats in anticipation of yet another rout for risk assets. The resilience of gold, in the face of booming markets earlier this week, points towards a growing feeling that gold is fast becoming a go-to investment to express risk-aversion in a low interest environment.

Brexit remains the word on the lips of the market, as David Cameron attempts to negotiate a token gesture to take back to the UK electorate ahead of an in-out referendum. Despite the likely fanfare that will accompany any resolution to these negotiations, widespread discontent and ridicule are almost certain to follow any announcement. Much like the Scottish referendum, the divisive nature of the issue at hand means grievances are unlikely to disappear upon obtaining any token concession from the European Summit.

FTSE 100 risers and fallers 

Company % change Index points
Reckitt Benckiser Group +1.08 +1.73
Centrica +1.98 +0.80
HSBC Holdings +0.22 +0.76
GlaxoSmithKline +0.25 +0.66
Randgold Resources Ltd +2.50 +0.56


Company % change Index points
Royal Dutch Shell -1.67 -4.07
Royal Dutch Shell -1.64 -3.9
AstraZeneca -1.37 -2.78
Vodafone Group -1.21 --2.69
BT Group -1.40 -2.12

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