Mar­ket slumps into the red on com­mod­ity stock gloom

Yorkshire Post - Business - - MARKET REPORT -

TUM­BLING com­mod­ity stocks kept the Lon­don mar­ket in the red, as Brexit fears sunk the pound to as even-year low below 140 US dol­lars.

The pound plum­meted against the dol­lar for the third con­sec­u­tive ses­sion to 1.39, with its value against t he euro also com­ing un­der pres­sure, fall­ing more than half a per cent to 1.26.

The FTSE 100 In­dex slumped 95.13 points to 5867.18, as com­mod­ity stocks posted hefty falls fol­low­ing a sig­nif­i­cant drop in the price of oil in ear­lier trad­ing. Min­ing gi­ants Glen core and

An­glo Amer­i­can were down 13.1p to 116.4p and 43.4p to stand at 409.8p re­spec­tively.

How­ever, Brent crude mounted a late rally, ris­ing more than 2 per cent to 34 US dol­lars a bar­rel, as it shook off neg­a­tive com­ments from the pre­vi­ous ses­sion when Saudi oil min­is­ter Ali Ibrahim Al- Naimi ruled out pro­duc­tion cuts.

Oil prices have be­come closely linked with the global mar­ket in re­cent weeks, as crude prices re­main 70% below their peak in the sum­mer of 2014.

Plung­ing com­mod­ity prices also took their toll on the Euro­pean and Amer­i­can mar­kets.

Ger­many’ s Dax was down more than 2.6 per­cent on Wed­nes­day, the C ac 40 in France fell 1.9 per cent, while the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age slipped just un­der 1 per cent. In stocks, house­builder Bar­ratt

De­vel­op­ments cheered traders af­ter it posted a 40 per cent leap in half-year prof­its fol­low­ing ef­forts to com­plete more homes,

/2 p to send­ing shares up 91 5711/ 2p.

The FTSE 100 firm said pre- tax prof­its rose to £295 min the six months to the end of De­cem­ber, up from £210.2 ma year ear­lier.

The re­sult boosted other house­builders, with Per­sim­mon up 46p to 2075p, in a bounce back af­ter heavy falls across the sec­tor on Mon­day as in­vestors feared a Brexit or a UK cap on im­mi­gra­tion could ham­per the con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

Euro­pean plane- maker Air­bus saw its share price fall just un­der 1 per cent af­ter an­nounc­ing it would step up pro­duc­tion of its new A 350 air­craft as the firm boosted prof­its and fore­cast fur­ther growth this year.

The Paris-listed firm, which em­ploys around 135,000 staff in­clud­ing around 10,000 in the UK, said it would ramp up pro­duc­tion of its long- range wide­body A350 to seven a month, in line with grow­ing air traf­fic fore­casts this year.

Re­cruit­ment firm Hays saw its stock fall 8 per cent or 10.4p to 113.8p in the FTSE 250 In­dex as it said de­mand for new staff in the UK weak­ened in the se­cond half of last year due to grow­ing un­cer­tainty over world trade.

Over­all, the firm said pre- tax prof­its lifted by 7 per­cent to £82.4 min the six months to the end of De­cem­ber as it set record net fees across 18 mar­kets in­clud­ing Ger­many and Ja­pan.

In other news, Leeds Build­ing So­ci­ety - Bri­tain’s fifth big­gest mu­tual - posted record pre- tax prof­its of £ 108.5m for 2015, up 34 per cent on 2014.

The so­ci­ety said net mort­gage lend­ing rose to £ 1.4bn in 2015, from £ 1.1bn the pre­vi­ous year, in what was the group’ s best ever lend­ing per­for­mance.

It also at­tracted 22,000 new cus­tomers, tak­ing its mem­ber­ship to 719,000.

Wed­nes­day’s big­gest ris­ers in the FTSE 100 were Per­sim­mon up 46 p to 2075 p, gold Re­sources up 130 p to 6650 p,

In­tertek Group up 50p to 2881p and Fres­nillo, which ended the

2p to 991/ 2p. day up 161/

Wed­nes­day’s big­gest fallers in the FT SE 100 In­dex were Glen­core down 13.1 p to 116.4 p, An­glo Amer­i­can down 43.4p to 409.8p, BHP Bil­li­ton down 62.6p to 684.3p and Rio Ti nto down 114p to stand at 1874p.

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