Tuesday market close: International political fears stifle FTSE

Market trader. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images
Market trader. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images
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London’s top-flight index drifted lower as investor concerns over geopolitical risks dragged on the market.

The FTSE 100 Index was down 15.55 points to 7,285.74, as traders remained cautious about the political standoff between the US and North Korea, the German election, and tensions in Spain over the Catalonian independence referendum.

On the currency markets, the pound was down 0.3 per cent against the US dollar at $1.34, as sterling suffered in the wake of comments from former Bank of England monetary policy committee member David Blanchflower, who said there was “absolutely no basis” for an increase in interest rates given weak readings on the economy.

Focusing on UK stocks, EasyJet was among the biggest risers on the top tier after UBS analysts said the budget airline was likely to benefit from Ryanair’s staffing woes. Shares closed up 19p to 1,199p.

On the second tier, travel giant Thomas Cook was suffering after saying it had dealt with an “operationally challenging” past month as it provided support and took care of 22,000 of its customers in destinations hit by devastating Hurricane Irma. The group said it was forced to evacuate holidaymakers in the Cayos in Cuba, Florida and the Dominican Republic. Shares were off 3.6p at 117.4p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index included NMC Health up 73p to 2,718p and Imperial Brands up 48.5p to 3,274.5p. The biggest fallers were Shire down 90.5p to 3,741.5p and GKN down 5.3p to 341.9p.

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