FTSE 100 flat as energy gains counter losses in consumer shares

FILE PHOTO: A trading screen is seen following the opening of the markets by British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Chinese Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua at the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/Pool

(Reuters) -London’s FTSE 100 was flat on Monday as gains in energy and mining were offset by weakness in financial and consumer-focussed stocks, while online gambling firm Playtech jumped after a takeover bid from its second-biggest shareholder.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was flat at 0920 GMT, with gains in oil stocks and precious metals miners were countered by a drop in stocks like GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever.

“The markets are now in a bit of a wait-and-see mode following central bank decisions last week and as they look ahead for more data to judge global economic recovery with the overall bullishness for equity markets and a strong outlook for global economic growth remaining intact,” said David Madden, an analyst at Equiti Capital.

The FTSE 100 has gained around 13% so far this year and has recovered from its pandemic-driven losses supported by dovish central bank policies, robust quarterly results and reopening optimism.

However, the index still underperformed its European peers, which have gained around 21% year-to-date, over lingering concerns of rising input costs affecting the pace of economic recovery.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index was down 0.3%, dragged by weakness in travel and leisure shares.

Playtech Plc rose 2.3% after it received a takeover offer from its second-biggest shareholder, Gopher Investments, on Sunday.

British defence company BAE Systems slipped 0.4% even after it stuck to its guidance for earnings to grow by 3% to 5% this year over 2020’s result and said demand for its products and services remained high.

Abrdn Plc jumped 2.7% after the British asset manager said it is in advanced talks to buy Interactive Investor, an online investment service, for more than 1.5 billion pounds ($2.02 billion), Sky News reported on Saturday.

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