FTSE 100 falls for six straight sessions on rising rate-hike bets

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: A worker shelters from the rain as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London

By Devik Jain and Amal S

(Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 fell for a sixth straight session on Tuesday, as investors raised bets on how high central banks would lift interest rates to tackle inflation.

After rising as much as 0.9%, the FTSE 100 erased early gains to end 0.3% lower, with spirit market Diageo and GSK among top drags.

The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index edged 0.6% lower.

Global stock markets have been rattled as investors price in aggressive central bank policy moves to quell inflation against a backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, concerned that this could lead to a global economic slowdown.

Despite these fears, the FTSE 100 has only declined 2.7% year-to-date, compared with a 16.3% drop in European Stoxx 600 and a 21.4% slide in U.S. S&P 500 index, due to its heavy weighting in energy and mining companies.

"Financials have been a big support apart from commodities for (the FTSE); however, with economic uncertainty taking center stage, it can't hold the fort for long and will soon lose its outperformer tag of the year so far," equity research firm Kalkine Group Chief Executive Kunal Sawhney said.

The central bank is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) to 1.25% on Thursday.

Shares in Asia-focused British bank HSBC rose 3.6%, providing the biggest boost to the blue-chip index, while oil majors BP Plc and Shell Plc rose 2.1% and 1.2%, respectively, tracking volatile crude prices. [O/R]

Paragon Banking jumped 6.8% after upgrading its 2022 forecasts and flagging strong new lending growth.

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson climbed 11.2% after forecasting higher adjusted profit.

DiscoverIE Group gained 3.2% after the electronic component manufacturer and supplier reported stronger full-year underlying pretax profit.

(Reporting by Devik Jain and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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