The UK’s leading index was boosted by Aviva’s better than expected earnings reports and Aggreko’s announcement of increased dividend payments, but the gains were capped by uncertainty over the tensions between Russia and the Ukraine, and lack of action by the European Central Bank.
ECB President Mario Draghi failed to mention any plans to introduce new measures to boost lending in the euro-zone as a part of his speech on Thursday. This lack of an announcement disappointed investors and analysts, who had expected to hear good news in Draghi’s speech.
Matt Basi of CMC Markets told Reuters that he was surprised by the move lower in the equity markets caused by Draghi’s speech. He commented that the bulls seemed disappointed by his failure to commit to futher short term liquidity measures.
In spite of this slowdown n the European markets, the FTSE 100 gained 13.7 points across the trading day, continuing the gradual progress that it has made for most of the week. The FTSE 100 had plummeted significantly on Monday after Crimea was essentially taken by Russian forces during the weekend, but it recovered from that significant drop, and posted slight gains, on Tuesday, then continued the upward trend, albeit in a muted fashion, over the course of the rest of the week.