The banking sector was negatively impacted by a strong decline in NatWest shares on Friday, while mining companies declined as a result of declining copper prices, causing London’s FTSE 100 to decline for a fifth day in a row.
As of 0714 GMT, the blue-chip index was down 0.5% and the mid-cap FTSE 250 was down 0.1%.
Losses were led by lenders, down 2.2%. Despite reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, NatWest fell 5.9%.
The net interest margin is somewhat disappointing, despite the excellent results, according to Andrew Jones, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson.
“People had hoped for a little bit more, and they really focus on that for a bank, as interest rates have gone up for the first time in a long time.”
Base metal miners, who were down 1.8% and on course for their largest weekly decline in a month, increased the pressure on the FTSE 100.
On the plus side, life insurers increased by 0.3%, driven by Prudential’s 1.3% gain on its announcement of a 30% increase in new business profit.
Despite a turbulent week with a spike in earnings, the FTSE 100 is expected to rise 2.1% for the month thanks to defensive sectors like pharmaceuticals and consumer staples.
After the education company announced it was on track to reach its annual guidance and produce 150 million pounds ($120 million) in cost savings this year, Pearson’s stock increased by 3.4%.
After Deutsche Bank announced that it would pay about 410 million pounds for the London-based institutional stockbroker and corporate advisor, Numis Corp saw a 67.2% increase.
According to a Lloyds Bank survey, British businesses were at their most upbeat in almost a year in April, helped by rising expectations for the economy.