FTSE 100 finishes flat, GBP jumps following Vlieghe, Bitcoin hovers near $40K

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imageEconomy6 hours ago (May 27, 2021 16:36)

© Reuters

Key Points

  • FTSE 100 closing price of 7,021.67, -0.07%
  • Vlieghe comments lift GBP
  • Oil steady
  • Bitcoin hovers near $40K, Icahn interested?

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 finished Thursday flat as equity markets continued their relatively dull week. Of the midcaps, shares in Equiniti Group (LON:EQN) were top of the FTSE 250 after the company agreed to be acquired by Siris Capital for £673mln, representing a 56% premium from the closing price when takeover discussions were first disclosed in February.

Shares in Centamin (LON:CEY) propped up the index after the company announced results from its review into West African projects. One of the projects in Burkina Faso did not meet the company’s investment criteria and the gold producer said it will now be assessing third party development options for the site.

Tate & Lyle (LON:TATE) shares also fell after the company said group adjusted diluted earnings per share were expected to be lower than last year, reflecting significantly lower commodities profits and an increase in the effective tax rate.

GBP was strong after comments from Bank of England member Gertjan Vlieghe. Vlieghe, who is scheduled to leave the MPC in August, said that the Bank could hike interest rates early next year if the impact of the end of the government furlough scheme is less severe than expected. GBP/USD jumped to a 3-day high, while EUR/GBP fell before finding support around 0.8600.

WTI and Brent crude futures swung between gains and losses as Iran and other world powers continue to discuss reinstating the previous nuclear deal. A deal could see Iranian crude flood the market as sanctions on the oil industry are lifted. However, the demand picture looks relatively upbeat with many western economies reopening and transport and travel restrictions starting to ease.

In the cryptocurrency space, Bitcoin was steady, hovering either side of $40,000 but failing to make a break above the 200DMA at around $40,700. Supporting prices were comments from billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who said he may get into cryptocurrencies in a “big way”. On the other end of the scale, Danish central bank governor Lars Rohde described the cryptocurrency space as a “fad”, adding that it’s a very speculative asset “at best”.

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FTSE 100 finishes flat, GBP jumps following Vlieghe, Bitcoin hovers near $40K

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