Markets lacklustre as traders caught between virus and stimulus

Load Error UK stocks remained subdued, with the top index in London, the FTSE 100, closing the day up a fairly anaemic 0.2%, or 10.4 points, to 6,253.25. “The markets ended up striking something of a balance on Wednesday, caught between the residual positivity of Tuesday’s US stimulus/steroid treatment hopes, and the realities of a potential second wave,” said Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex. The Dax in Frankfurt added 0.5%, while on the other side of the Atlantic both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones were more or less flat shortly after markets closed in Europe. HSBC’s shares were fairly unmoved, down 0.5%, by the news that it has restarted a plan to cut around 35,000 jobs around the world that was put on hold due to the pandemic. Boohoo shares leapt 6.6% on Wednesday as it bought collapsed clothes chains Oasis and Warehouse for £5.3 million and upped its profit outlook as lockdown trading remained strong. And finally, there was a 6.2% boost for Kingfisher shareholders as the B&Q owner said that its like-for-like sales had increased by more than a fifth in the three months to June 13 compared to last year.