FTSE Slips for Third Day Running
The FTSE 100 slipped on Wednesday, marking its third fall in a row as the index was hit by another fall in the price of oil. The UK’s leading index closed down by 0.5%, a fall of 29.43 points, to 6,500.04 points. This is its lowest closing level since early in November.
The price of Brent Crude slipped to a five year low, down to below $65 a barrel, following increasing signs of over-supply and poor demand thanks to slowing economic growth. Last month there had been hopes that the Opec cartel would limit the supply of oil, but after those hopes were dashed the price of oil fell significantly.
Oil and gas services company Petrofac saw their share price fall by 3.4%, making them the poorest performer of the day. They were hit both by the falling oil price and by a downgrading from Moody’s, a credit rating agency.
One company that successfully bucked the trend was Ashtead. The industrial equipment rental company gained 9.1% after announcing that it had seen better than expected profits for the last six months, and that it expected the trend to continue for the full year. This news sent the company’s share up to a record high.
The FTSE currently sits more than 400 points lower than its peak for the year. The index has recovered from 15 point lows, but it still appears to be struggling and hopes that a “Santa Rally” this month will push it past the 7,000 mark are fading rapidly.