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Energy, pharma stocks drag FTSE 100 lower; dismal service activity data

By Reuters

By Devik Jain and Amal S

-London’s FTSE 100 slipped on Friday weighed by weakness in energy and pharmaceutical stocks, while a weaker-than-expected U.S. job growth data in August further dented sentiment.

After rising as much as 0.6%, the blue-chip index reversed course to end 0.4% down. Oil majors BP, Royal Dutch Shell were among the top drags. [O/R]

Global equities retreated from record highs after U.S jobs report showed a sharp slowdown in jobs growth last month sparking fears of slowing global growth.

“It’s lower than estimates, but I did not think that the numbers were outside of the parameters of general expectations. It’s generally a positive although not a huge positive for the economy and the markets,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist of fixed income at B. Riley Securities Inc.

Wider mining index gained 0.5%, tracking metal prices higher as investors sought the perceived safety of gold following dismal U.S. job data. [MET/L]

Britain’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic lost more momentum last month than originally estimated as staff shortages and supply chain issues weighed on companies in the country’s huge services sector, a survey showed.

Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals fell 0.8% amid Britain’s vaccine advisers’ decision of not recommending the universal vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds against COVID-19.

The domestic focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index edged 0.1% lower, however marked its second straight week in gains.

Among other stocks, Ashmore Group fell 4.1% after the emerging markets-focused money manager reported a 12% dip in annual net revenue.

Discoverie Group’s shares gained 21.6% after the electronic components manufacturer and supplier upsized its equity raise offering.

Sanne Group slipped 2.1% after London-based private equity firm Cinven said it would not make another buyout offer for the asset management services provider.