Stocks extend slide as fears fail to lift
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.