Belfast Telegraph

FTSE 100 plunges as tensions between China and US hot up

The FTSE closed at 7,185.3

Heightened tensions between the US and China were to blame for a decline in global stocks (PA)
Heightened tensions between the US and China were to blame for a decline in global stocks (PA)

Top-flight stocks in London tumbled on Wednesday as the mood of the global economy took a downturn following the latest shots fired in the US-China trade dispute.

The FTSE 100 shed 83.65 points to close 1.15% lower at 7,185.3.

European markets were also in the red, with the German Dax down 1.57% and the French Cac was 1.7% lower.

Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said: “The FTSE nose-dived on Wednesday, joining the global trend, which has seen markets in Asia, Europe and the US tumble lower. With China threatening to take the trade war a step further and the bond market sounding recession alarm bells, traders jumped out of riskier assets.”

Oil prices were also hit by the reports that China could impose new restrictions on exports of rare earths to the US.

A barrel of Brent Crude oil was trading down 1.88% at 68.81 US dollars.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Tensions between the two largest economies in the world have ticked up again, and the energy market is getting hurt in the crossfire.

“Oil is often a good barometer for perceptions about global demand, and the bearish outlook is playing out in the oil market.”

The pound dipped 0.24% to 1.263 US dollars, but was flat on the euro at 1.134.

A review into Non-Standard Finance’s £1.3 billion hostile takeover bid for doorstep lending rival Provident Financial was launched by Britain’s competition watchdog.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed it is considering whether the deal would lead to a substantial lessening of competition.

Shares in Non-Standard Finance were down 1.15p at 47.4p, while Provident fell 22.9p to 449.7p.

Housebuilder Telford Homes reported a 13% fall in annual profits as it shifted focus to the build to rent market and battled against a “subdued” London market.

The stock closed 14.5p lower at 288.5p.

Southend Airport owner Stobart Group plunged to a £42.6 million annual loss after it was hit by aviation costs and a £16 million write-down.

Stobart’s shares climbed 7p to 124.4p.

Rail app business Trainline confirmed plans to raise £75 million in capital to fund its expansion plans when it floats on the London Stock Exchange next month.

Shareholders in offshore rig contractor Gulf Marine Services showed their anger by heavily voting against the firm’s remuneration report at its annual general meeting.

Shares were 0.65p lower at 10p.

Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital saw like-for-like revenues jump 41% in the first four months of 2019, the company said ahead of its annual general meeting.

Shares were up 2.5p to 169p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Vodafone up 2.18p to 129.3p, Severn Trent up 12.5p to 1,965.5p, Fresnillo up 4p to 742p and British Land up 2.6p to 532.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were NMC Health down 185p to 2,435p, Tesco down 12.4p to 225.8p, Hikma Pharmaceuticals down 84p to 1,650p and Flutter Entertainment down 260p to 5,614p.