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UK stocks extend losses; Avast soars as regulator clears NortonLifeLock deal

The London STOCK MARKET Group offices have emerged in the town of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

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  • Avast hits record high
  • Hiscox falls after results
  • UK services firms slow again – PMI
  • FTSE 100, FTSE 250 both flat

Aug 3 (Reuters) – UK’s main stock indexes were largely flat on Wednesday, as investors maintained a cautious stance on the pace of monetary policy tightening, while Avast surged after it won regulatory approval for NortonLifeLock’s $8.6 billion deal.

Shares of Avast Plc (AVST.L) soared 42.7% to an all-time high after Britain’s competition regulator said it has provisionally cleared cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock’s (NLOK.O) $8.6 billion purchase of its rival. read more

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) was down 0.05%, as the domestically focussed midcap index (.FTMC) gained 0.04%, following a downbeat begin to August.

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Both indexes, however, clocked strong gains in July, with the FTSE 100 outperforming its global peers up to now this season.

“THE UNITED KINGDOM market is really a defensive market, so that it will have a tendency to outperform in per year like 2022 whenever there are plenty of uncertainties,” said Thomas Moore, senior investment director at abrdn.

“People will still purchase their energy, heating bills; they’ll buy cigarettes, a bottle of whiskey. Inflation and interest levels is actually a problem for the united kingdom economy, nonetheless it is unlikely to become a problem for UK currency markets.”

All eyes are on the lender of England’s meeting on Thursday where policymakers are anticipated to raise interest levels by 50 basis points after other central banks pushed up borrowing costs sharply in recent weeks, regardless of the threat of an economic slowdown or perhaps a recession. read more

British services sector activity grew in July at the slowest pace since early 2021 once the country was under a coronavirus lockdown, although there is an easing of surging price pressures, a survey showed. read more

Global markets remained volatile on Wednesday following a trio of Federal Reserve policymakers signalled on Tuesday that there will be no let-up in the tightening campaign, while investors assessed the fallout of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, which includes angered China. read more

Hiscox (HSX.L) tumbled 5.6% following the Lloyd’s of London insurer posted a first-half pretax lack of $107 million, hit by way of a steep decline in the worthiness of its investment portfolio. read more

Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey Plc (TW.L) gained 3.7% after it forecast annual operating profit close to the high class of market consensus range and maintained volume growth targets for the entire year. read more

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Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Shailesh Kuber

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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