FTSE Close: UK shares close lower on Fed meeting jitters

London shares fell on Wednesday as the imminent release of last month’s US Federal Reserve meeting minutes kept investors cautious. The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 closed down 0.5%, while the more UK-focused FTSE 250 shed 1.0%.

FTSE 100 Closes Lower Ahead of December Fed Minutes

Supermarkets were a bright spot after data showed UK grocery sales over Christmas hit a four-year high. Tesco and Sainsbury’s shares each rose 1.6%, while Marks & Spencer added 2.2%. Oil giants BP and Shell also climbed as crude prices were supported by ongoing Middle East tensions.

On the FTSE 250, airline Wizz Air dropped 4.2% as its December load factor declined despite a capacity and passenger increase. Ryanair also carried more flyers but its load factor edged lower amid flight cancellations caused by the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Drug discovery firm C4X Discovery surged 29% on AIM after bagging an $11 million milestone payment from pharma giant AstraZeneca.