LONDON, April 29 — The FTSE 100 was largely flat today, as oil majors dipped following United States’ demand to Opec for higher production, while online supermarket Ocado slipped after disclosing the cause of the fire at its Andover site earlier this year.
The FTSE was 0.17 per cent lower by 0740 GMT, while the midcaps were 0.4 per cent higher, gaining on the strength in the local currency.
Exporter stocks including the world’s largest spirits company Diageo, Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser lost ground initially as the pound strengthened.
The pound’s rise came after EU’s chief negotiator said yesterday that the outcome of Brexit talks between British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and the opposition Labour Party could be known in this week.
Meanwhile, travel groups TUI and Thomas Cook rose over two per cent after the latter said British holidaymakers are favouring destinations outside the European Union.
Shell and BP slipped as crude prices fell after US President Donald Trump asked producer club Opec to raise output to soften the impact of US sanctions against Iran.
Ocado shares fell as much as 5.4 per cent, to the bottom of the FTSE 100, after disclosing that an electrical fault was the cause of the fire at its flagship distribution centre this year.
The dip in internationally focused stocks and oil companies offset modest gains in Barclays, Lloyds and Prudential in early deals. — Reuters