Third straight week of losses for FTSE 100 as anxiety grips European investors

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s leading stock index fell on Friday, tracking a broad sell-off by European shares as investors faced the prospect of tightening financial conditions and growing political risk.  The FTSE 100 closed down 0.3 percent for its third straight week of losses. Germany’s DAX dropped 0.4 percent and Italy’s FTSE MIB sank 1.9 percent. Risk appetite has dried up this week a new Italian government settled in and the European Central Bank indicated it might end ultra-loose monetary policy earlier than expected. Divisions on trade as G7 leaders’ summit got under way added to investors’ anxieties. “Events going on that people point to, such as the G7 meeting, are all idiosyncratic things that have their impact, but I think often what you see is a broader story underneath that is affecting everything and is probably exacerbating those situations,” said Clark Fenton, chief investment officer at Agilis Investment Management. “I think it comes back to quantitative tightening.” On Friday financials were the biggest drag on the FTSE 100, as HSBC, Prudential, Lloyds and Barclays fell 0.3 to 1.2 percent.