Skip Header
Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

London open: Stocks edge lower ahead of central bank meetings

(Sharecast News) - London stocks edged lower in early trade on Monday ahead of a key week for central bank meetings. At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 7,532.75.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: "This week will herald a raft of economic data, as the Federal Reserve, ECB and Bank of England all reveal their latest interest rate decisions, while there is also an important update due on the latest US inflation picture, as well as UK GDP and US retail sales.

"The Fed's interest rate decision and accompanying comments will be of particular interest to investors, especially given the recent rally in stocks on optimism of an end to the hiking cycle and the gradual move towards monetary easing."

The Fed will make its latest policy announcement on Wednesday, followed by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank on Thursday.

Earlier on Monday, the latest data from Rightmove revealed that the housing market showed tentative signs of stabilising in December despite a further slide in house prices.

According to the Rightmove house price index, house prices fell by 1.9% this month. Prices normally dip in December, due to seasonal factors, but this year's fall was more than the previous 20-year average of a 1.5% decline.

Year-on-year, prices were just 1.1% lower, however.

The average asking price is now £355,177.

Rightmove said sellers were becoming more competitive with pricing as they looked to get homes sold in a "challenging" market.

But it also noted signs of more stable market conditions, as the market slowly shifted from "frenzy to normality", which should see more family movers returns. Many families shelved plans to move to bigger homes after last year's disastrous mini-budget sent mortgage rates soaring.

The number of agreed sales was down 13% on the same period last year, which Rightmove said was better-than-expected given that the 2022 market was "much more frenetic".

Tim Bannister, director of property science at Rightmove, said: "We entered this year under a cloud of uncertainty, as the fallout from the autumn mini-budget filtered through to lower activity levels.

"High mortgage rates, which have added to already-stretched buyer affordability, have been a challenge throughout 2023, and this is likely to carry into next year.

"However, for now there appears to be more calm and certainty heading into 2024, and the annual fall of 1.1% in asking prices highlights the market's much better-than-predicted resilience this year."

Average mortgage rates have been falling for the last four months, with the average 5-year fixed mortgage rate now 5.11%, compared to 6.11% in July.

In equity markets, heavily-weighted miners were the worst performers on the top-flight index, with Anglo American, Glencore, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta all lower.

On the upside, Rolls-Royce rallied after Citigroup lifted its price target on the stock following the engine maker's capital markets day.

Elsewhere, Domino's Pizza ticked higher as it backed its full-year earnings guidance ahead of an investor event.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,532.75 -0.29% FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,701.70 0.00% techMARK (TASX) 4,131.80 0.05%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 295.00p 1.97% JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 168.35p 0.84% Beazley (BEZ) 539.00p 0.65% National Grid (NG.) 1,066.00p 0.57% Haleon (HLN) 326.60p 0.55% BAE Systems (BA.) 1,048.00p 0.53% Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,054.00p 0.53% 3i Group (III) 2,356.00p 0.51% Airtel Africa (AAF) 116.40p 0.34% BP (BP.) 469.40p 0.25%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,707.00p -3.01% Anglo American (AAL) 1,761.60p -2.27% Glencore (GLEN) 447.20p -2.23% Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,483.00p -1.79% Fresnillo (FRES) 570.40p -1.72% Centrica (CNA) 147.05p -1.61% Rentokil Initial (RTO) 413.50p -1.34% Severn Trent (SVT) 2,683.00p -1.14% Croda International (CRDA) 4,718.00p -1.03% Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,499.50p -0.96%

FTSE 250 - Risers

QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 309.00p 3.62% Darktrace (DARK) 376.80p 3.09% Dunelm Group (DNLM) 1,087.00p 2.84% Vesuvius (VSVS) 461.40p 2.40% JTC (JTC) 810.00p 2.34% 888 Holdings (DI) (888) 86.50p 2.19% IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 268.00p 2.06% Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,650.00p 2.01% NCC Group (NCC) 124.00p 1.81% Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,597.00p 1.72%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Auction Technology Group (ATG) 466.00p -4.31% Moonpig Group (MOON) 146.80p -3.48% 4Imprint Group (FOUR) 4,415.00p -2.97% Keller Group (KLR) 800.00p -2.68% Me Group International (MEGP) 125.00p -2.65% Spectris (SXS) 3,419.00p -2.43% Ibstock (IBST) 135.10p -2.38% FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 400.00p -2.32% Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 477.00p -2.15% Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 82.00p -2.15%

Share this article

Related Sharecast Articles

Europe open: Stocks jump early as investors digest ECB comments
(Sharecast News) - European stocks rose strongly on Friday as investors continued to digest comments from the European Central Bank, which indicated that a rate cut would be on the cards in the coming months.
London pre-open: Stocks seen up as investors mull GDP data
(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Friday as investors mulled the latest UK GDP data and eyed the start of US earnings season.
US close: Mixed session as traders digest PPI numbers
(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks turned a mostly positive performance on Thursday following the release of yet another key inflation report.
Europe close: Stocks slip even after ECB opens door to June rate cut
(Sharecast News) - European stock markets were in the red amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the interest-rate outlook in the U.S..

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

Award-winning online share dealing

Search, compare and select from thousands of shares.

Expert insights into investing your money

Our team of experts explore the world of share dealing.