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London stock market falters as HSBC disappoints


London’s stock market fell on Tuesday, underperforming stable eurozone indices, as traders pushed down share prices in banking giant HSBC and other major companies following earnings updates.

Around 1000 GMT, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.5 percent compared with the close on Monday.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index dipped 0.1 percent and the Paris CAC 40 was flat.

The dollar rose versus the euro, pound and yen, as traders awaited Wall Street’s reopening after a long holiday weekend in the United States.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, bitcoin climbed to $11,358.30 from $11,141.05 on Monday — when Bank of England governor Mark Carney said in a wide-ranging speech delivered in London that the cryptocurrency had “pretty much failed thus far on (…) the traditional aspects of money”.

He told Regent’s University: “It is not a store value… Nobody uses it as a medium of exchange”.

On Tuesday, European stock markets traded mixed “as investors reacted to corporate results and awaited the open on Wall Street”, noted Jasper Lawler, head of research at traders London Capital Group.

“The FTSE 100 was held back by mixed results from HSBC, (miner) BHP Billiton and (hotels group) IHG,” Lawler said.

Results for both HSBC and BHP “were characterised by missed estimates mixed in with signs turnaround plans are nearly complete,” the expert added.

In late morning deals, HSBC’s share price was down 4.3 percent at 727 pence and BHP slid 3.6 percent to 1,506 pence.

IHG shed 5.2 percent to 4,453 pence as the owner of the InterContinental and Holiday Inn brands said it planned no dividend payouts for its performance in 2018.

Earlier Tuesday in Asia, the Tokyo stock market closed down more than one percent, snapping a three-day winning streak as investors locked in profits after the recent gains.

Hong Kong shed 0.8 percent as traders returned to work after the Lunar New Year holiday marking the start of the Year of the Dog.

The Monday’s closures in the US and Canadian markets “crimped activity”, said Oanda analyst Stephen Innes.

In commodities trading, oil prices diverged after rising across the board on Monday.

– Key figures around 1000 GMT –
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 7,213.05 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 12,373.91

Paris – CAC 40: FLAT at 5,257.42

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,405.57

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.0 percent at 21,925.10 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.8 percent at 30,873.63 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: Closed for public holiday

New York – Closed for public holiday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2345 from $1.2407 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3997 from $1.3999

Dollar/yen: UP at 107.13 yen from 106.60 yen

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 51 cents at $65.16 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 44 cents at $62.12

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