UK’s FTSE 100 index started the day slightly lower after the release of the country’s GDP data. Germany’s DAX index was almost flat after the release of the German CPI for July on Wednesday. The French CAC 40 index, as well as Euro STOXX 50, was also at a standstill.
UK’s Economic Sentiment
The FTSE 100 index slipped after the release of positive GDP data. The UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 4.8% in the second quarter following the easing of lockdown restrictions. However, it was 4.4% below the pre-pandemic levels.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there have been increases in services, production, and construction output over the quarter.
Monthly production fell by 0.7% between May and June. The fall in production was led by the 11.9% slump in mining and quarrying. The 0.2% advance in manufacturing over the month was driven by increases in output. Production output for the second quarter increased 0.5% compared with the first quarter.
Monthly services output increased by 1.5% between May 2021 and June 2021. However, it was still 2.1% below the pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. Services output for Quarter 2 jumped 5.7% compared to the first quarter. The advance was led by wholesale and retail trade which jumped 12.8%.
Total exports of goods, less precious metals, fell 2.2% (£0.6 billion) in June 2021. Total imports of goods, excluding precious metals, increased 2.6% (£1.0 billion) in the same month. Total imports of goods in Q2 jumped 12.5% while total imports climbed 12.4%.
FTSE 100 Performers
Aviva plc was the best performer in the FTSE 100 index. The insurance company gained 2.38%. The company’s CEO, Amanda Blanc, stated that the company would return at least £4 billion to shareholders by next June after selling 8 businesses.
Coca-Cola HBC AG gained 1.18% after the release of its H1 profits. The company stated that its operating profit rose 67.8% to £350.3 million in the first half of 2021. However, the company forecasts lower margins for the second half of the year due to higher costs and inflation.
Miners led the drags in the index amid higher commodity prices. Rio Tinto plc plunged 8.34% in its stock price. The company was accused of mismanagement that caused the Mongolia copper mine disaster.
EVRAZ plc fell 5.56% earlier on Thursday. The steelmaking and mining company recently posted higher revenues for H1.