London Markets: Losses for oil companies and Diageo weigh on FTSE 100

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Passengers disembark from the low cost Hungarian Wizz Air at the newly opened Al-Maktoum International airport, the emirate’s second airport in Dubai, on October 27, 2013.

The FTSE 100 struggled for gains on Wednesday, weighed down by losses for oil companies and beverage maker Diageo, while investors looked ahead to the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting.

The index UKX, +0.19%   lagged behind gains for other regional European bourses, with a gain of just 0.1% to 7490. The British pound GBPUSD, -0.2610%  slipped 0.2% against the U.S. dollar. Earlier in the session, the FTSE 100 climbed above 7500, as investors cheered record results from U.S. technology giant Apple AAPL, +2.83%.

U.S. stock futures climbed as investors focused on a heavy earnings reporting calendar and the Federal Reserve’s policy statement later, and attempted to brush aside concerns over the growing coronavirus outbreak. The death toll in China rose to at least 132 and the number of infected was close to 6,000.

Heavily weighted oil stocks were under pressure, as Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A, -0.30% RDSA, -0.19%  slid 1%, while BP BP, -0.08% BP, +0.05%  dipped 0.6%.

Also weighing were losses for consumer goods group Unilever ULVR, -0.73% UL, +1.06%  dropped 1.5%. Shares of Diageo DGE, -1.65%, another heavyweight, fell 2.3%. The company is due to report interim results on Thursday.

British Airways, which is operated by International Consolidated Airlines Group, became the latest airline to restrict flights to China. The airline said all flights to the region have been canceled effective immediately. Shares of IAG, -0.27%  fell 0.7% in London trading.

Away from the main index, shares of Wizz Air WIZZ, +3.31%  jumped 3.4% after the cut-rate airline reported higher profit and lifted its guidance.

“Wizz’s dominant position in its core markets does limit the risk of people turning to a competitor, while its European focus should insulate it from the impact of China’s coronavirus on the travel sector, for now at least,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

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