Energy, pharma stocks drag FTSE 100 lower; dismal service activity data

(Reuters) -London’s FTSE 100 slipped on Friday weighed by weakness in energy and pharmaceutical stocks, while a weaker-than-expected U.S. job growth data in August further dented sentiment.

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask walks past the London Stock Exchange Group building in the City of London financial district, whilst British stocks tumble as investors fear that the coronavirus outbreak could stall the global economy, in London, Britain, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

After rising as much as 0.6%, the blue-chip index reversed course to end 0.4% down. Oil majors BP, Royal Dutch Shell were among the top drags. [O/R]

Global equities retreated from record highs after U.S jobs report showed a sharp slowdown in jobs growth last month sparking fears of slowing global growth.

“It’s lower than estimates, but I did not think that the numbers were outside of the parameters of general expectations. It’s generally a positive although not a huge positive for the economy and the markets,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist of fixed income at B. Riley Securities Inc.

Wider mining index gained 0.5%, tracking metal prices higher as investors sought the perceived safety of gold following dismal U.S. job data. [MET/L]

Britain’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic lost more momentum last month than originally estimated as staff shortages and supply chain issues weighed on companies in the country’s huge services sector, a survey showed.

Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals fell 0.8% amid Britain’s vaccine advisers’ decision of not recommending the universal vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds against COVID-19.

The domestic focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index edged 0.1% lower, however marked its second straight week in gains.

Among other stocks, Ashmore Group fell 4.1% after the emerging markets-focused money manager reported a 12% dip in annual net revenue.

Discoverie Group’s shares gained 21.6% after the electronic components manufacturer and supplier upsized its equity raise offering.

Sanne Group slipped 2.1% after London-based private equity firm Cinven said it would not make another buyout offer for the asset management services provider.

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