News & Analysis

Inflation deflates the FTSE 100!

Andrew Saks, Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The past few weeks have been a period of absolutely outstanding performance by FTSE 100 listed stocks, with the prestigious index having raced to the highest point in over a year and sustained its lofty position at over 7000 points for a long period of time.

Those days are now over, and a dramatic downturn has suddenly begun to take place, and is still happening at the moment.

The FTSE 100 has this afternoon taken a dive by 2.5% as, rather unusually, a collective confidence has given way to collective uncertainty, and a mass sale of big tech stock has begun across Asia and the United States.

At first glance, it appears that traders fear that rising prices will tempt central banks to hike interest rates or start to rein in their monetary stimulus, however that is a very general outlook and there has to be much more to such a sudden reaction than that, especially given the constant upward direction of the FTSE 100 index.

Perhaps tomorrow's inflation figures in the United States are being anticipated nervously, and big tech is being viewed as a potential casualty of any rise in consumer prices that may ensue from the forthcoming announcement.

On that side of the Atlantic, influence may be a reason for the decline in FTSE 100 values, as NASDAQ finished at a 2.5% decline yesterday, with losses spreading to Japan and China, where the Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both closed down 3% overnight.

NASDAQ is an exchange upon which a large number of technology company stocks are listed, thus those in the know will have looked toward that as a precursor.

As a result, the technology stock sell-off then spilled over in Europe today, first with the FTSE 100 having gone down by 162 points, to 6,961 around midday, with Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 also down more than 2%.

Some analysts in London are looking on the cautious side this afternoon, reinforcing the reason for the sudden decline, the general thought being that the valuations of technology based growth companies in the United States represent an overvaluation and therefore hard to justify especially if the interest rates rise and the inflation figures show a higher level than before.

Should the US government decide to increase taxation for large corporations, the FAANG stocks could be also affected as investors may sell their stock in case of a socialist-style capital gains and corporation tax burden on the largest firms in Silicon Valley.

As with westerly winds, what starts in North America soon comes to the shores of the United Kingdom, therefore the analysts careful approach looks prudent.

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