FTSE 100 Slides As Geopolitical Tensions Dent Appetite

U.K. stocks declined on Friday as heightened geopolitical tensions drove investors away from risky assets.

Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, architect of the country's spreading military influence in the Middle East, was killed in the air strike at Baghdad airport, prompting a vow of harsh revenge from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 36 points, or 0.48 percent, at 7,568 after rising 0.8 percent in the previous session.

Energy stocks were moving up as oil prices jumped nearly 3 percent on fears of a supply disruption. Royal Dutch Shell climbed 1.2 percent and BP Plc advanced 1.6 percent.

Bovis Homes Group lost 1 percent. The housebuilder said it has completed the acquisition of Galliford Try plc's Linden Homes and Partnerships & Regeneration businesses.

Retailer Next Plc edged down slightly despite raising its full-year profit guidance.

British American Tobacco shares rose over 1 percent. The company announced that the U.S. FDA's Flavour Guidance is a welcome step towards returning the U.S. vapour market to stability following a significant period of disruption and uncertainty.

Budget airline Ryanair Holdings fell 2.7 percent after announcing its group traffic figures for December.

In economic releases, U.K. house price inflation exceeded 1 percent for the first time in 12 months in December, survey data from the Nationwide Building Society showed.

The house price index rose 1.4 percent year-on-year following a 0.8 percent climb in November. The inflation rate was the highest since November 2018, when it was 1.9 percent.



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