Wall Street higher with focus on midterm elections as FTSE 100 finishes in the red

FTSE 100 Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 2, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq rise ahead of midterm elections but FTSE 100 didn't get a lift. Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) started the week on a lacklustre note as traders digested jumbo rate hikes on both sides of the Atlantic and China poured cold water on speculation that it would relax its strict COVID rules.

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.5% to close Monday at 7,297, while the CAC (^FCHI) in Paris was muted at 6,415 points. In Germany, the DAX (^GDAXI) advanced 0.4% to 13,51.

On Wall Street, stocks were higher, with investor focus shifting to Tuesday's midterm elections that will determine control of Congress. The Dow Jones (^DJI) jumped 0.7% to 32,628. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 0.3% to 3,783 points and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) was muted at 10,48 points as the closing bells rang across Europe.

Energy and mining stocks dragged down the UK's blue-chip index after China dampened hopes of a rebound in commodity demand after it reiterated its zero-COVID policy to curb outbreaks.

Read more: UK average house price drops to £292,598 as market cools

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: "The FTSE 100 is trading lower this morning after hopes were dashed that China could be set to ease its strict zero-tolerance to COVID approach, pushing the miners into the red. Oil is also under pressure while gold has fallen from a three-week high."

BP (BP.L) and Shell (SHEL.L) were the biggest drag on the blue-chip index. GSK (GSK.L) slid 4.6% after the pharmaceutical said its blood cancer drug Blenrep failed the main goal of a late-stage study.

B&Q owner Kingfisher (KGF.L) was the biggest faller following a cut by analysts at Credit Suisse, losing 2.3%.

In the FTSE AIM (^FTAI), shares of Joules Group (JOUL.L) plunged 24% after the struggling fashion retailer revealed talks with investors including founder Tom Joule to inject cash into the business alongside a possible restructuring as sales continue to disappoint.

Meanwhile, Brent crude (BZ=F) gained 0.7% to $99 per barrel.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 (^N225) advanced 1.2% to finish at 27,527 while the Hang Seng (^HSI) in Hong Kong climbed 2.5% to 16,573. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) made modest gains, rising 0.2% to 3,077 points.

Watch: Apple cuts iPhone shipments outlook on China lockdowns