Energy stocks pull FTSE 100 lower as inflation, virus worries persist

FILE PHOTO: A worker shelters from the rain under a Union Flag umbrella as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 fell on Thursday as heavyweight energy stocks tracked weak oil prices, while a steady rise in inflation coupled with higher local coronavirus infections stoked concerns of slowing the pace of economic recovery.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 eased 0.2% with Royal Dutch Shell and BP being the top drags on the index. Energy stocks dropped 2.24%.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 index fell 0.3% as fears over rising inflation weighed on the more domestically focussed stocks.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said the central bank would assess inflation data for things that could be temporary, before taking a call on raising rates, while a roaring jobs market in June also showed growing inflation pressures from rising wages.

Among stocks, UK-based cybersecurity firm Avast Plc surged 15.3% to the top of the FTSE 100 after it said it was in advanced talks over a merger with peer NortonLifeLock Inc.

Shares in the world’s largest credit data company, Experian, jumped 3.2% as it raised its annual outlook after posting a 31% jump in its first-quarter revenue.

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