British midcaps slide 2% as economy shrinks ahead of BoE decision
London's FTSE 250 index slid to its lowest level in a month on Monday after data showed Britain's economy unexpectedly shrank in April ahead of a Bank of England policy meeting this week. The domestically-focussed mid-cap index was off 2.1% and the blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 1.3%.
- United Kingdom
The domestically-focussed mid-cap index was off 2.1% and the blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 1.3%. Both indexes hit their lowest level since May 12 and were heading for a fifth straight day of losses.
Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.3% in April from March, while over the three months to April GDP was up by 0.2%, slowing sharply from growth of 0.8% in the three months to March, official data showed. Economists polled by Reuters had on the average forecast that the British economy would grow by 0.1% in April from March and by 0.4% in the February-April period.
Separately, industrial and manufacturing output also logged a surprise monthly fall against a backdrop of inflation nearing 10%. "Markets have gone from optimism that inflation might be on the cusp of plateauing, to rising apprehension that we could not only see higher prices but that prices might well remain higher for a lot longer than originally thought," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK (spread betting and CFD trading provider), said.
The Bank of England (BoE) is expected to raise interest rates on Thursday by 25 basis points (bps) to 1.25%. If it opts for a bigger hike, this will stoke recession fears. Among individual stock moves, oil majors BP Plc and Shell Plc were both down 1.9%, while industrial miners shed 2%, as commodity prices slid on concerns around demand due to a rise in China's COVID-19 cases.
Mexico-focussed precious metals miner Fresnillo jumped 7.8%, topping the gainers on the FTSE 100 index. Ferrexpo Plc, meanwhile, dropped 7.1% after the Ukraine-focused miner cut its iron ore production in the wake of Russia's invasion of its neighbor.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)