Investors flocked to safe haven assets on Tuesday as political risks mounted across the globe, sending British stocks lower.
The FTSE 100 UKX, -0.68% declined 0.6% and the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 MCX, -0.38% fell 0.4%.
Sterling GBPUSD, +0.0994% made slight gains after U.K. wage growth hit its highest level for 11 years, but no-deal Brexit fears continued to blight the currency.
What’s moving the markets?
Markets remained nervous over the fragile state of relations between the U.S. and China and the threat of further escalation of the trade war.
Continued protests in Hong Kong, political uncertainty in Argentina, and no-deal Brexit fears formed an unpleasant cocktail for investors, who moved away from riskier assets towards havens.
Singapore downgraded its GDP growth forecast due to the impact of the trade war and German economic sentiment plunged in August. The German ZEW expectations index for investor confidence dropped to -44.1, the lowest since the euro crisis in 2011.
British stocks declined on Tuesday morning as investors took cover in safe haven assets — the yield on the U.K. 10-year gilt dropped to fresh lows of 0.46% and the price of gold rose above $1,500 per ounce.
David Madden, CMC Markets analyst, said: “Every corner of the global has negative news hanging over it, and that is why traders are trimming their equity positions.”
U.K. wage growth picked up to 3.9% in the year to June, the highest rate for 11 years, but still failed to wake the pound from its slumber as no-deal Brexit fears remained.
Which stocks are active?
Travel operator Tui TUI, -0.49% rose 0.6% as the company stuck to its full-year guidance despite warning the grounding of Boeing 737 Max could cost it up to €300 million ($336 million). The firm posted a €103.9 million loss in its markets and airlines business in the third quarter, compared with a €37.2 million profit the previous year.
Rolls-Royce RR, -2.66% fell 2.6% after rating agency Moody’s downgraded the jet engine maker over cash flow and debt concerns. Moody’s also cited the high cost of rectifying long-running problems with its Trent 1000 engines.