London stocks subdued as non-life insurers offset resource sector slide

By Purvi Agarwal and Roshan Abraham

(Reuters) – London stocks began the week on a muted note, with resource shares edging lower and investors awaiting fresh economic data, while gains in non-life insurers helped cushion the market from steeper losses.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.1% at 8,193.49,while the mid-cap FTSE 250 was flat at 20,798.32. The pound gained 0.1% against the dollar.

On Friday, the midcap index soared to a two-year high as investors celebrated the Labour Party’s victory, optimistic that Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s plans will invigorate the economy.

Hiscox soared 13.4%, lifting the non-life insurers sector to the top performer, after Insurance Insider reported the Lloyd’s of London insurer has attracted takeover interest and could be set for a sale.

Precious metals lost 1.9% while industrial metal miners slipped 1%, tracking lower bullion and copper prices. [GOL/] [MET/L]

Energy shares fell 1.2%, due to a dip in oil prices as the prospect of a Gaza ceasefire deal eased geopolitical tensions, while investors assessed potential disruption to U.S. energy supplies from Tropical Storm Beryl. [O/R]

On the radar this week are crucial consumer prices index figures in the U.S. and Britain’s gross domestic product numbers (GDP), which could shed some more light on the future trajectories of interest rate cuts in the both the economies.

With the UK election now over, investor focus will return to data to gauge the Bank of England’s decision at its next meeting in August.

In corporate news, Britvic surged 4.5% after the soft drinks maker said it has agreed to be taken over by Carlsberg for a sweetened bid of 3.3 billion pounds ($4.2 billion).

Ocado gained 5.4% after the online supermarket boosted its partnership with Japan’s Aeon with plans to build a third robotic warehouse.

($1 = 0.7787 pounds)

(Reporting by Purvi Agarwal, Roshan Abraham and Pranav Kashyap in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman and Keith Weir)


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