London’s FTSE 100 was muted on Thursday as Brexit negotiations remained gridlocked with only weeks left for Britain’s transition period to expire, while energy stocks slipped on lower oil prices.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 was flat by 0803 GMT after gaining more than 3% in the past two sessions, while the mid-cap FTSE 250, considered a barometer of Brexit sentiment, rose just 0.1%.
The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator told member states’ envoys that Brexit talks were reaching “a make-or-break” moment. Four diplomats told Reuters that the talks remained snagged on issues including fishing rights.
In company news, housebuilder Countryside Properties Plc slipped 0.2% as it said Chairman David Howell would step down from the board in 2021, a day after its third-largest investor called for his ouster as part of efforts to break up the company.
Royal Dutch Shell and BP headed lower as oil producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia locked horns over the need to extend record production cuts set in place in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)