The FTSE 100 index was down 0.97% by 1500 GMT on Thursday, with a mixture of miners and Barclays and Smith & Nephew missing market expectations with quarterly results.
Barclays third-quarter pre-tax profits slid below consensus forecasts due to a higher cost of claims settlements and falling revenues. Adjusted pre-tax profit dipped to £1.43bn from £1.59bn in the same period last year, missing the average forecast of £1.65bn from analysts polled by the company, with revenue down to £6.11bn from £6.38 in 2014.
Medical group Smith & Nephew saw its shares
fall after its own third-quarter revenue also was a little weaker than expected, as the maker of artificial hips and knees maintained its full-year guidance and announced the acquisition of robotics company Blue Belt Technologies. A 4% rise in underlying revenue to $1.11bn on the back of above-market revenue growth in knee implants, a sustained improvement in the advanced wound care business and a good performance in the US.
Meggitt continued to descend fast after Wednesday's warning due to an abrupt slowdown in both the aerospace and defence after-markets, which it expected to continue into the fourth quarter. Analysts continued to trim their expectations for the group, with Deutsche Bank cutting its target price by 25% to 375p as it dialed down the likelihood of bid speculation "as we believe the underlying growth issues that are increasingly coming to light, diminish the probability of a takeout".
Mining stocks continued to fall, with even the precious metals companies that had outperformed earlier in the week joining the descent, while
Hints from the US Federal Reserve about a possible December rate hike hit commodity prices as the dollar
index surged, with gold declining significantly to hit Randgold, Fresnillo and Anglo American, and copper and oil also under pressure.
Merlin Entertainments was one of the few attractions in the blue chip index, with analysts suggesting last week's news that the company and a Chinese state-backed private equity partner are preparing a joint venture for Legoland Park in Shanghai, boosting a stock that has been suffering from the Alton Tower tragedy since June.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,375.43 -0.97%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,096.06 -0.28%
techMARK (TASX) 3,079.53 -0.93%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 408.50p 2.02%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,145.00p 1.80%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,508.00p 1.10%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,505.00p 1.01%
Next (NXT) 7,975.00p 0.95%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,404.00p 0.85%
St James's Place (STJ) 966.00p 0.78%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,831.00p 0.72%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,973.00p 0.71%
Diageo (DGE) 1,882.00p 0.67%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Meggitt (MGGT) 344.50p -6.13%
Anglo American (AAL) 532.30p -5.45%
Barclays (BARC) 239.50p -5.39%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,090.00p -5.22%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,047.00p -4.56%
Glencore (GLEN) 110.60p -4.20%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,493.00p -4.12%
Fresnillo (FRES) 736.50p -4.10%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 519.50p -3.17%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,339.00p -3.15%