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FTSE 100 flat as financial stocks slide

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The UK’s benchmark share index ended little changed on a quiet day for company news.By the end of trading, the FTSE 100 index was up just 1.93 points at 7,562.28.Financial stocks weighed on the index, with Barclays down 0.7% after Deutsche Bank cut its target price for the UK bank’s shares.Elsewhere in the financial sector, Standard Life Aberdeen dropped 1.4% and RSA Insurance fell 1.6%.But there was better news for health stocks after medical products and technologies company Convatec was upgraded to a “buy” rating by UBS.Shares in Convatec ended the day as the FTSE 100’s biggest riser, jumping by almost 4% while NMC Health rose 2.5%.In the FTSE 250, shares in outsourcing group Mitie rose 1.5% following a broker upgrade. Analysts at Jefferies upgraded their rating on the stock to “buy” from “underperform”.On the currency markets, the pound gained 0.5% against the dollar to $1.31390 and was 0.6% higher against the euro at €1.13270.Oil prices hit their highest levels for more than two years after the heir to the throne in Saudi Arabia consolidated his hold on power with a major purge of the kingdom’s political and business leadership at the weekend.A new anti-corruption body, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, detained 11 princes, four sitting ministers and dozens of ex-ministers.Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest exporter of crude oil and the second-largest producer of the commodity.By the close of London share trading, the price of Brent crude oil was 2.7% higher at $63.73 – its highest level since July 2015.
Source: BBC