Stocks ex­tend slide as fears fail to lift

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - LATOYA HARDING

FOL­LOW­ING a sharp de­cline in US stocks, mar­kets in Europe and Asia were sent tum­bling yes­ter­day as hopes of a US-China trade war truce fiz­zled out and con­cerns sur­round­ing Theresa May’s Brexit deal were rekin­dled.

Chi­nese of­fi­cials fi­nally ended their si­lence on the cease­fire with the US but it did very lit­tle to ease in­vestor con­cern as de­tails on the agree­ment still re­mained un­clear.

Stocks in Europe headed south for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day with the FTSE 100 clos­ing 100.9 points, or 1.4pc, lower at 6,921.84.

Europe’s con­struc­tion and ma­te­rial stocks were among the worst per­form­ers while house­builders and banks re­ceived a boost.

Among the large-cap losers was in­dus­trial equip­ment rental com­pany

Ashtead Group, which de­rives the ma­jor­ity of its rev­enue in the US. Shares plunged 103.5p to £16.72 amid fears on the state of the US economy.

The FTSE 250 closed 46.77 points, or 0.26pc, be­hind at 18,282.87. In the eu­ro­zone, the Paris CAC 40 fell 1.1pc to 4955.98, while the Frank­furt DAX fell 1pc, trad­ing at 11,222.22.

Shares at miner Glen­core fell 11.5p to 285.50p as it faced an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on sus­pi­cion of pay­ing bribes state­con­trolled oil com­pany Petro­bras in ex­change for con­tracts.

Brazil­ian pros­e­cu­tors said Glen­core, along with com­mod­ity traders Vi­tol and Trafigura, al­legedly paid more than $15.3m be­tween 2011 and 2014.

Mean­while shares in Lon­don-based gold min­ing firm Petropavlovsk climbed 0.13p to 6.12p af­ter it an­nounced it had suc­cess­fully be­gun gold pro­cess­ing at its mine in Rus­sia one month ahead of sched­ule. Else­where, bus and rail giant

Stage­coach was among the mid-cap lead­ers de­spite post­ing a £22.6m half-year pre-tax loss af­ter a £85.4m write­down of its US coach arm.

Shares rose by 23.2p to 177p as the com­pany beat City fore­casts. The trans­port group said it was con­sid­er­ing dis­pos­ing its US busi­ness and that the re­sults at the re­gional UK bus divi­sion were en­cour­ag­ing.

Thomas Cook ended its six-day los­ing streak with its largest gain in seven years in early trade. Shares closed up 11.68p to 34.40p af­ter the travel firm shrugged off con­cerns that it needed to launch a rights is­sue.

City bro­ker Fin­ncap floated on Lon­don’s ju­nior Aim mar­ket yes­ter­day af­ter rais­ing £5m in its ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing from £3.8m of new money and £1.3m from share­hold­ers. The com­pany priced its IPO at 28p per share and was 5.4pc up at 29.50p.

The float formed part of its agree­ment to ac­quire Cavendish Cor­po­rate Fi­nance, an in­de­pen­dent merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tion ad­viser to the UK mid-mar­ket.

The pound had a roller­coaster day af­ter drop­ping to 2017 lows on Tues­day fol­low­ing Theresa May’s trio of de­feats in Par­lia­ment.

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