FTSE down after Fed signals potential interest rate hikes

London stock prices dipped on Friday following remarks from US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, indicating a possible future interest rate increase.

The FTSE 100 index opened 38.88 points lower, a 0.5% decrease, at 7,416.79. The FTSE 250, often viewed as a domestic economic indicator, dropped by 442.09 points, a 2.5% decline, to 17,595.76.

Official data from the Office for National Statistics revealed the UK economy avoided contraction in Q3, contrary to market expectations. However, the lack of substantial progress did little to boost investor confidence amid global economic uncertainties.

Powell, highlighting the Fed’s readiness for potential interest rate hikes to control inflation, stated, “Ongoing progress toward our two percent goal is not assured: Inflation has given us a few head fakes.”

In the FTSE 100, Diageo saw an 8.2% decline in early trading. The beverage company revised its outlook for the year ending June 30, 2024, citing a weak performance outlook in the Latin America & Caribbean markets. Sales in the LAC market are anticipated to fall by 20% year-on-year in the first half of the financial year.

In the FTSE 250, Redrow’s shares drop by 6.0%. The housebuilder, ahead of its annual general meeting, reported a ‘subdued’ housing market in August, with net private reservation values plummeting 25% year-on-year to £384 million. Redrow now projects annual profit before tax to be at the lower end of the £180 million to £200 million range.

Wizz Air is seeing a second day of decline dropping 3.5% after a 10% drop in Thursday’s trading session. The budget airline downgraded its bottom-line guidance due to challenging operating conditions.