UK stocks subdued as inflation data tempers rate bets

London’s FTSE 100 made a lacklustre start on Thursday, underperforming European peers as eurozone inflation data dampened ECB rate expectations. The FTSE 100 opened down 0.3%, while the CAC 40 and DAX 40 rose.

BP outperformed, gaining 0.9% amid an oil price rise. However, water utilities sagged, with Severn Trent and United Utilities losing over 1% each after Wednesday’s profit warning from Pennon.

The FTSE 250 slid 0.6%, dragged down by Dr Martens which dived 20% as the bootmaker warned of a longer recovery time in the key US market. Auction Technology also dropped 13% despite a revenue gain, as higher finance costs led to a 24% profit slump.

Meanwhile, Metro Bank rallied 8% as it unveiled deeper cost cuts, including axing 20% of its workforce. The lender is also reviewing the seven-day branch opening.