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* Crude dive weighs on oil majors
* HSBC jumps as it reverts to paying dividends
* Quilter soars on report of NatWest considering bid
* FTSE 100 down 0.1%, FTSE 250 off 0.4%
Aug 1 (Reuters) - A slump in oil stocks and rally in
sterling weighed on Britain's top share index on Monday, as
investors looked ahead to the Bank of England's next move on
interest rates amid a weakening global economic outlook.
As sterling hit a one-month high, the FTSE 100
, packed with multinational companies that earn a large
part of their revenue overseas, ended down 0.1%. The index had
gained as much as 0.7% earlier.
Shares of oil majors BP and Shell fell
almost 2% each as crude prices sank nearly 5% after weak
manufacturing data in several countries weighed on the demand
Wall Street indexes also wavered after strong gains last
week, driven by better-than-expected earnings.
"Earnings season has brought optimism that perhaps market
pessimism has been somewhat overdone, yet today has seen data
take a nosedive in Europe and China," said Joshua Mahony, senior
market analyst at online trading platform IG.
"Between the biggest German retail sales decline since 1994,
and contraction in manufacturing PMI surveys in China, Italy and
Spain, the economic picture remains discouraging for investors."
Meanwhile, a survey showed British manufacturing output and
new orders declined in July at the fastest rate since May 2020.
The BoE will meet on Thursday, when policymakers are
expected to lift interest rates by 50 basis points to 1.75% to
tame surging prices, according to a Reuters poll taken over the
past week as several economists changed their minds.
The BoE has never raised Bank Rate by a half point since it
was made independent in 1997.
Among single stocks, HSBC jumped 6.1% after
Europe's biggest bank announced a higher profitability target
and a bullish dividend outlook. It also pushed back on a
proposal by top shareholder Ping An Insurance Group Co of China
to split itself.
Pearson surged 12.7% as the education group
reiterated its full-year profit outlook and said its new
integrated structure under boss Andy Bird was helping save costs
and grow the top line.
The domestically focused midcap index also reversed
course to end the session down 0.4%.
Quilter jumped 14.6% after a media report said
NatWest Group is considering a bid for the fund manager.
NatWest gained 1.2%
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by
Uttaresh.V and David Holmes)