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FTSE 100 flat as financial stocks slide

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The UK’s benchmark share index remained little changed on a quiet day for company news.Shortly after midday, the FTSE 100 index was down just 4.58 points at 7,555.77.Financial stocks weighed on the index, with Barclays down 1.2% after Deutsche Bank cut its target price for the UK bank’s shares.Elsewhere in the financial sector, Standard Life Aberdeen dropped 1.3% and RSA Insurance fell 1.2%.But there was better news for health stocks after medical products and technologies company Convatec was upgraded to a “buy” rating by UBS.Shares in Convatec jumped more than 5% while NMC Health rose 3%.In the FTSE 250, shares in outsourcing group Mitie rose 3.6% following a broker upgrade. Analysts at Jefferies upgraded their rating on the stock to “buy” from “underperform”.On the currency markets, the pound was up 0.2% against the dollar at $1.3105 and was 0.4% higher against the euro at €1.1307.Oil prices hit their highest levels for more than two years after the heir to the throne in Saudi Arabia consolidated his hold on power with a major purge of the kingdom’s political and business leadership at the weekend.A new anti-corruption body, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, detained 11 princes, four sitting ministers and dozens of ex-ministers.Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest exporter of crude oil and the second-largest producer of the commodity.On Monday, the price of Brent crude oil hit $62.90 a barrel at one point, a 28-month high.
Source: BBC News

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