FTSE 100 ends flat, Sensex trades lower as Asian markets have muted opening


London’s FTSE 100 closed flat on Wednesday, entering the red territory and down by almost three points.

The UK’s top share index finished a shade down at 7,026, while, the midcap FTSE 250 went higher, ending the midweek session up over 201 points, or 0.90%, at 22,640.

Shares in vaccine maker AstraZeneca fell 0.75 per cent after the European Union told a court that the pharmaceutical company should pay multimillion-euro daily penalties if it fails to deliver Covid-19 vaccines on time.

US stocks closed higher on Wednesday as inflation worries settled. The S&P 500 rose 0.2 per cent to 4,196 recovering from Tuesday’s fall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose less than 0.1 per cent to 34,323, and the Nasdaq composite added 0.6 per cent to 13,738.

On Thursday morning, shares in Asia-Pacific had a muted opening as investors look ahead to the release of Chinese industrial profits data for April. The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped almost 0.4 per cent by noon. Over in South Korea, the Kospi hovered above the flatline, and was 0.2 per cent down around noon. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was also flat but traded 0.2 per cent higher.


The Shanghai Composite recovered after starting in the red and traded around 0.1 per cent higher. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded flat.

Indian indices were trading marginally lower on Thursday, a day of the F&O expiry of the May series, dragged by banking, financial and FMCG stocks. However, gains in IT stocks capped some losses. BSE Sensex gave up 51,000 while the broader Nifty 50 index fell below the crucial 15,300.