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FTSE 100 Faces Downward Pressure After Extended Weekend

Analyst Team trader
Updated 28 May 2024

The FTSE 100 index, a benchmark for the UK's largest publicly traded companies, has slipped below the 8300 threshold, a level it first surpassed nearly four weeks ago on May 5th. The sell-off of UK blue-chip stocks would trigger concern among investors, as a mixed day for the index's heavyweights ensues.

As pre election announcements begin to heat up, Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has highlighted the importance of economic stability and the avoidance of tax increases beyond those already planned as part of Labour's economic strategy. Reeve's stance comes at a time when businesses and consumers are facing financial pressures, emphasising a more cautious fiscal approach.

Amidst online service disruptions, NatWest Group PLC faced technical issues that affected its online banking app, leaving users unable to log in. Despite this setback, the bank has assured customers that they could still use their cards for payments and cash withdrawals, effectively managing customer concerns and minimising disruption.

One of the bright spots amid the market's turbulence has been Intermediate Capital Group (ICP.L), which witnessed more than a 5% rise in its shares before settling up 2.76% into the afternoon. ICP exceeded expectations by reporting a larger profit and has set an ambitious fundraising target of at least $13.8 billion per year, demonstrating resilience and growth potential even in a challenging economic environment.


On the regulatory front, water companies such as Severn Trent PLC, and Pennon Group PLC face potential setbacks as they are expected to have their requested customer bill hikes denied by the industry watchdog. This anticipated decision has negatively impacted share prices, adding to the concerns within the utility sector.


Additionally, the British Retail Consortium has reported easing inflation trends, with shop price annual inflation at 0.6% in May, marking the lowest rate since November 2021. This could signal a positive turn for consumers and retailers struggling with the cost of living crisis.

In contrast, Boohoo Group PLC is facing a shareholder revolt over plans to provide substantial bonuses to its executives despite the company reporting losses. Major shareholders are expected to vote against the proposed bonuses, reflecting broader concerns over corporate governance and executive pay in times of financial difficulty.

The recent dip in the FTSE 100 index reflects a confluence of factors impacting investor sentiment, but looking at the broader picture, an index that is coming off all time highs achieved just two weeks ago is far from in crisis. Shifts in sentiment are normal, and a market taking pause for breath is considered healthy. Whilst we would watch for longer term sentiment shifts, this short term move should be noted, but considered for what it is.

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The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.