FTSE 100 Live May 19: Consumer Confidence Fears Rock Stocks, Royal Mail Releases Results

Consumer Confidence Fears Hit Stocks

Signs that US consumers have curbed spending on “big ticket” items triggered another exodus from stocks today.

Tesco and B&Q owner Kingfisher were among the shares down 4% in London, as the FTSE 100 Index fell 2% in response to a gloomy session on Wall Street last night.

The S&P 500 is now facing its seventh consecutive weekly decline after poor updates this week from retail giants Target and Walmart sent the US benchmark down 4% in its worst daily performance since June 2020. .

Shares of Target fell 25% as consumer caution about major purchases of furniture and electronics was compounded by its warning that higher fuel prices and supply chain costs were also weighing. the margins.

Hargreaves Lansdown Senior Analyst Susannah Streeter said: “With consumer spending power expected to erode further due to interest rate hikes, the concern is that Target’s pain is a precursor to yet another More fights to come for retailers.”

Concerns over consumer confidence left the FTSE 100 Index 149.52 points lower at 7,288.57.

Bunzl, whose outsourcing services are used by multiple retailers, slumped 5% or 159p to 2760p and investment firm 3i, which owns Benelux-based discount retailer Action, weakened 8% or 106p to 1218p.

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, the backer of Tesla and Amazon whose results today showed a 13.1% decline in net asset value (NAV), was down 5% or 37.2 pence at 751.2 pence. However, he urged investors to take a longer-term view of its performance, after noting that the NAV rose 200% in five years.

The FTSE 250 Index fell more than 2% or 373.91 points to 19,575.53, with contracting firm Page down 7% and electronics firm Currys down 6%.

Cybersecurity company Darktrace fell a further 3.9 pence to 319.3 pence, despite a statement ruling out any connection between the company and the ongoing Autonomy civil action.

It also emerged today that Darktrace CEO Poppy Gustafsson spent £100,000 on shares in the company at a price of 336.5 pence, having seen shares fall 15% yesterday.

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