Belfast Telegraph

FTSE 100 Index hit by commodity stocks slump

The London market sank to its first weekly loss in a month as it bore the brunt of falling commodity stocks.

The FTSE 100 Index was down 71 points to 6310.4 amid a torrid day's trading for blue-chip oil and mining companies, with Glencore tumbling nearly 3% on falling copper prices.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell were also down 0.3p to 368.3p and 17p to 1826.5p respectively, despite a late rally from Brent crude, which lifted one dollar and eight cents to 45.6 US dollars a barrel.

In Europe, Germany's Dax fell 0.6% and the Cac 40 in France was down 0.3%.

The pound was up 0.5% against the dollar at 1.438 amid easing concerns over the threat of Britain leaving the European Union.

Sterling was also up 0.9% against the euro at 1.28.

In stocks, Anglo American was down 14.5p to 732.8p after 42% of shareholders opposed its remuneration report, which included a £3.4 million pay deal for chief executive Mark Cutifani.

Chairman Sir John Parker said at the firm's annual general meeting (AGM) that it would take a "fresh look" at its pay policy over the next year and put it to a vote at the 2017 AGM.

Banking giant HSBC fell 5.4p to 466.5p as shareholders waved through its remuneration report after the bank said it would take steps to review pay packages for executive directors following concerns from shareholders.

The lender said at its AGM that it is looking to reduce the amount of money handed to executive directors in lieu of a pension from 50% to 30% of their base salary, while also making long-term incentives subject to a three-year forward-looking performance period.

It said the new policy could reduce the maximum amount its executive directors could earn by 7%.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's stepped up 3.6p to 292.4p after Deutsche Bank upgraded the grocer from hold to buy in the wake of its takeover of Argos owner Home Retail Group.

Tesco also raced ahead after receiving an upgrade from Fitch from negative to stable as it swung back into the black earlier this month.

The UK's biggest supermarket cheered ''significant progress'' in its turnaround battle as it edged out of the red with bottom-line pre-tax profits of £162 million for the year to February 27.

Shares in Tesco lifted 1.6p to 186.6p.

Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods saw its share price come under pressure after it said Japanese noodle maker Nissin had the right to appoint a non-executive director because its shareholding is above 15%.

It comes after the firm rejected a third takeover offer from Schwartz spices owner McCormick & Company last month worth £537 million.

The US spice and herbs giant put forward a proposal worth 65p a share for Premier, which also owns Oxo, Bisto and Sharwood's.

The board of the St Albans-based firm said the proposal undervalued the company's prospects.

Shares in Premier Foods dropped 0.3p to 39p.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Sainsbury's up 3.6p to 292.4p, Travis Perkins up 21p to 1827p, Tesco up 1.6p to 186.6p, Kingfisher up 3p to 364.4p.

The biggest fallers were Paddy Power down 340p to 8375p, Land Securities Group down 34p to 1074p, Associated British Foods down 96p to 3131p, Glencore down 4.9p to 161.8p.