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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Ends Down As Pound Strengthens; Tesco Hit By Job Losses

28/01/2019 6:04pm

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By Emily Horton

U.K.'s biggest retailer, Tesco, may cut 9,000 jobs

London stock markets closed in the red Monday, as the pound climbed ahead of a big week of decisions on Brexit, weighing down blue-chip stocks.

Banks, tobacco companies and oil producers led the decliners, while Tesco PLC stood out among the losers after the company announced a restructuring that could affect jobs

How did markets perform?

The FTSE 100 lost 0.9% to end at 6,747.10, after finishing the previous week down 2.3%.

The British pound also fell, dropping to $1.3169 after ending at $1.3200 on Friday. Over the past week, sterling has strengthened, as the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit fell.

What drove the market?

British parliament is set for another big week of Brexit decisions (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brexit-brief-uk-prime-minister-gears-up-for-second-crunch-vote-2019-01-28), with the next stages of the debate set to start Tuesday.

Investors are nervous ahead of scheduled trade talks between the U.S. and China this week as well as the Federal Reverse meeting on U.S. interest rates Wednesday.

After the partial government shutdown in the U.S. came to an end on Sunday, President Donald Trump said he doubts Congress will be able to produce a deal over the border-wall funding that he would accept (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-doubts-he-will-accept-a-deal-on-border-wall-funding-from-congress-2019-01-27) and promised he would build the wall anyway, possibly by using an emergency declaration.

What shares were active?

Shares of Barclays PLC (BCS) dropped to close 2.5% lower, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC shares (RBS.LN) fell by 2% and HSBC (HSBA.LN) lost 1.1%.

Among the biggest losers, Imperial Brands PLC's stock (IMBBY) fell 2.4%, while Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) lost 1.7%, after the U.K. grocer said up to 9,000 jobs could be at risk. Tesco plans to close fresh-food counters at 90 of its stores as part of its turnaround (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesco-says-up-to-9000-jobs-at-risk-in-cost-cuts-2019-01-28) effort. Up to half of the 9,000 employees could be redeployed to other customer-facing roles, the company said.

BP PLC (BP.LN) shed 2.4% as oil prices fell.

Ocado Group PLC (OCDO.LN) gained 2.1% and Marks & Spencer Group PLC (MKS.LN) rose by 0.1% after it was reported that the company was exploring a technology tie-up with the online supermarket, according to the Financial Times (https://www.ft.com/content/c5e66c2e-227e-11e9-b329-c7e6ceb5ffdf). (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/01/27/ms-talks-ocado-enter-online-food-fight/)

Among heavyweight miners, Rio Tinto PLC (RIO.LN) climbed 1.7%.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 28, 2019 12:49 ET (17:49 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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