As fears over China’s growth dampen global risk appetite, London shares tumble

As fears over China's growth dampen global risk appetite, London shares tumble

Meanwhile, Bank of England policymaker Michael Saunders, who last week backed a bigger interest rate rise than most of his colleagues, said he was worried that inflation risked exceeding the BoE’s forecasts which see it topping 10% later this year. The FTSE 100 index has outperformed its European peers so far this year but a weakness in mining stocks in the last few weeks is starting to weigh on the commodity-heavy index. The pound declined 0.3%, limiting some losses on the export-heavy FTSE 100, compared to the domestically focussed mid-cap index down 2.6%, posting its worst session in over two months. Capital & Counties Properties and Shaftesbury Plc slid 6.9% and 2.9%, respectively, after the real estate firms said they were in advanced talks on a merger that would bring such London tourist destinations as Covent Garden and Soho under one umbrella. Ideagen Plc jumped 46.1% on agreeing to a takeover by private equity firm Hg Pooled Management in an all-cash deal valuing the British software firm at 1.09 billion pounds ($1.34 billion). Rightmove Plc fell 3.4% after the British real estate website said Peter Brooks-Johnson, its chief executive officer of five years, would leave the company next year.

Following the Bank of England’s gloomy economic outlook last week, investors’ anxieties about a recession were heightened by increasing lockdowns in China. The commodities-heavy FTSE 100 index plummeted 2.3 percent to its lowest level since March 16, with miners and oil majors Shell and BP leading the way lower as commodity prices slumped due to concerns about demand. Industrial metal miners like Rio Tinto, Glencore, and Anglo American all slumped approximately 4%. “The biggest concern that markets have at the moment about UK is that we’re likely to see fewer rate hikes over the course of the next 12-18 months and much slower growth, but I don’t think we’re going to be unique in that,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, UK. Investors were already rattled after the British central bank sent a stark warning on Thursday that Britain risks a double-whammy of a recession and inflation above 10%.

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