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UK stocks under pressure as economic outlook darkens

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UK’s blue-chip stock index edged lower on Friday, and the domestically focused midcap index was set to end the week down as consumer sentiment hit a record low amid the cost-of-living crisis.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 slipped 0.2% by 0715 GMT, with losses capped by sterling’s tumble to a four-week low.

British consumer sentiment in August fell to its lowest since at least 1974, a survey showed, as households feel “a sense of exasperation” about the soaring costs.

Another set showed British shoppers spent more than expected in July as many were enticed by online shopping promotions. The data provided no respite for retail stocks, with the sector down 1% as the longer-term trend for sales was expected to go down.

The FTSE 250 index, more exposed to the domestic economy, slid 0.4% and was on course for weekly losses of 1.3%

Joules Group slumped 32.5% after the fashion retailer said that it would plunge to an annual loss, as the recent hot weather and cost-of-living crisis hit demand for its main categories such as outerwear and rainwear. (Reporting by Johann M Cherian and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru: Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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