UK's FTSE 100 slips after U.S. jobs data, still posts weekly gain

FILE PHOTO: A worker shelters from the rain as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London

By Johann M Cherian and Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) -UK's FTSE 100 edged lower on Friday as financial and industrial stocks weighed on the benchmark index after strong U.S. jobs data pointed to hefty rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, triggering a global selloff.

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.1%, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 shed 1.6%.

Data showed the U.S. labour market remained tight, giving the Fed cover to continue on its path of raising interest rates aggressively. [MKTS/GLOB]

"The lower-than-expected unemployment rate fuels the Fed hawks and weighs on overall sentiment," Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said.

Economy-sensitive financial stocks such as banks and insurers fell 0.5% and 1.3%, respectively. Industrial stocks declined 2.3%.

Nevertheless, the blue-chip and mid-cap indexes posted weekly gains following three weeks of steep losses.

Risk assets have taken a hit this year as central banks globally undertake monetary tightening to tame surging price pressures, with the FTSE 100 shedding 5.3% so far this year.

Denting sentiment further, recent surveys showed that UK firms were not too confident of a profit increase next year.

Daniel Kostecki, a senior market analyst with investment firm Conotoxia Ltd, expects profits to rise very slowly and inflation to stay on for some time in the UK.

Limiting losses on the commodity-heavy index, oil majors BP and Shell rose 1.9% and 1.4%, respectively, as crude futures extended gains.

Energy stocks have gained 5.6% so far this week following an OPEC+ decision to make its largest supply cut since 2020 despite concerns about a possible recession and rising interest rates.

J D Wetherspoon climbed 15.4% after the pub operator reported that its annual loss narrowed from a year earlier, even as it battled soaring energy and labour costs.

Superdry jumped 10.9% after the fashion group returned to full-year profit, but said it was cautious in the near term due to economic factors, including high inflation.

(Reporting by Susan Mathew, Johann M Cherian and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Shounak Dasgupta)