Oil prices rise to highest in over two years after data showed US crude inventories declined
The FTSE 100 index inched lower 0.2 per cent, while the domestically focused mid-cap index shed 0.1 per cent.
A preliminary reading of the HIS Markit/CIPS UK Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) pointed to one of the strongest monthly improvements in business activity since 1998.
All eyes are set on Bank of England’s meeting on Thursday as investors are waiting to know the central bank’s stance on rising prices.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 snapped a two day winning streak and closed in the red on Wednesday as the market’s comeback rally took a breather. The broad equity benchmark dipped 0.1 per cent to 4,241.84, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 71 points, or 0.2 per cent, 33,874. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed its peers slightly with a 0.1 per cent gain at 14,272.
Asian stocks opened mostly steady on Thursday after a mixed closing in the US. Japan’s Nikkei traded little change, while Shanghai Composite is 0.2 per cent down. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is marginally up at 0.1 per cent.
Indian indices opened in green on Thursday, a day of weekly options expiry, as investors await the annual meet of Indian giant Reliance. BSE Sensex opened above 52,500 while the Nifty 50 regained 15,700.