FTSE 100 swings into the red as mining shares slide
London's top flight index crashed back below the 7,000 mark, with investors punishing mining giant Antofagasta for warning over production targets.
Shares in the London-listed miner were down more than 3%, or 17.5p to 523p, after it revealed that production would come in shy of expectations this year, and could fall even further in 2017, as grades and throughput look set to fall at two of its major mines.
The FTSE 100 Index swung into the red, down 59.55 points to 6,958.09, as negative sentiment spread to Antofagasta biggest rivals, with Anglo American falling 22p to 1,092p and Glencore down 5.3p to 240.9p.
Lloyds Banking Group was at the top of the biggest fallers at the start of the session after unveiling plans to hive off another £1 billion for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI).
The banking giant said extra money for compensation claims had caused statutory pre-tax profits to drop 15% to £811 million in the third quarter.
Shares in Lloyds were down more than 3%, but recovered before session close to trade up 0.5p to 55.9p.
Across Europe, Germany's Dax was down 0.4% and the Cac 40 in France slipped 0.1%.
On the currency markets, the pound was making gains against the US dollar and the euro after enduring a tumultuous day's trading on Tuesday.
Sterling had dropped 1% to 1.20 US dollars in the previous session, before recovering its losses when Bank of England governor Mark Carney it could not ignore the pound's "fairly substantial" drop since the Brexit vote.
Investors took this as a sign that the Bank would not cut interest rates in November, with the pound up 0.4% against the US dollar at 1.22 US dollars and 0.2% higher against the euro at 1.21 euro.
The price of oil dropped 1.1% to 50.25 US dollars a barrel, with the US government reporting that domestic crude stocks had declined further.
In UK stocks, drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline finished lower after some sales of respiratory products failed to meet expectations.
Shares were down 3p to 1,626.5p despite profits soaring in the third quarter, aided by sterling's slump following the EU referendum.
The company said turnover rose 23% to £7.5 billion in the three months to September 30 compared to a year earlier, while core operating profit jumped 35% to £2.3 billion over the same period.
The owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, CYBG, was in the red after confirming that it had made an offer to buy Williams & Glyn branches from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
CYBG says it has held talks with RBS, but stopped short of disclosing the terms of the offer.
RBS must offload the Williams & Glyn branches by the end of next year as part of EU conditions linked to its £45 billion bailout at the height of the financial crisis.
Shares in CYBG were down 0.7p to 271.4p, while RBS rose 1.4p to 193.7p.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index were International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) up 20.9p to 422.7p, Marks and Spencer up 7.9p to 342.3p, easyJet up 19p to 944p, Tesco up 3.4p to 213.6p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 Index were Whitbread down 171p to 3,528p, Antofagasta down 17.5p to 523p, British American Tobacco down 135.5p to 4,583p, Micro Focus International down 56p to 2,117p.