- Russian troops amass along Ukraine border
- UK, Italian and German data disappoints
- Ex-dividend stocks fall
- StanChart falls after results, Shire drops
techMARK 2,714.92 -0.98%
FTSE 100 6,636.16 -0.69%
FTSE 250 15,262.72 -0.58%
Fears about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine set off another wave of selling in UK equity markets on Wednesday, with a string of disappointing data also weighing on sentiment.
The FTSE 100 finished the session 0.69% lower at 6,636.16, having slipped to a low of 6,588.43 - it has not fallen below 6,600 in intra-day trade since April 17th. The benchmark index is now at its 200-day moving average.
Reports on Tuesday evening said that Russia has significantly ramped up the number of troops on the eastern border of Ukraine in the last few days, raising fears of a potential invasion. The Kremlin has denied this. However, US Defence Secretary Jack Hagel went on the record saying that the risk of a Russian incursion is real.
The Financial Times cited senior Nato officials as saying that Russia has around 20,000 troops deployed in "battle-ready formations" on the border, more than the 15,000 US officials had estimated last week. However, official Ukrainian sources have claimed that there were up to 45,000 Russian soldiers near the border.
Economic data disappoints
Growth returned to UK industrial production in June after a slump in May but the increase was lower than expected, putting even more pressure on the services sector. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that overall industrial production rose by 0.3% month-on-month in June, after slipping 0.6% in May, though analysts had expected 0.6% growth. ONS's preliminary estimate that GDP expanded at a 0.8% pace quarter-on-quarter in the three months to June is not expected to be affected.
Italy unexpectedly dropped back into recession in the second quarter, according to the latest figures by Istat. Second quarter GDP shrank 0.2% from the prior quarter after the Italian economy shrank 0.1% in the first three months of the year.
A surprise drop in German factory orders was also on investors' minds. Orders fell 3.2% in June - the most since September 2011 - after a revised 1.6% slump in May.
Ex-div stocks provide a drag
Precious metals miner Fresnillo was the biggest riser after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock from 'underperform' to 'neutral', saying that the business should recover after a "rough patch". The bank hiked its target price for the shares
by 39% to 900p.
A number of heavyweight stocks traded lower on Monday after going ex-dividend, including Anglo American, Reckitt Benckiser, Reed Elsevier, BP, Barclays and Glaxosmithkline.
Standard Chartered delivered a less-than-expected 20% fall in first-half profits, but the stock slipped after the Asia-focused bank said it could face another US fine related to "certain issues" with its anti-money laundering systems and controls.
Pharmaceutical group Shire, which has agreed to a takeover by American rival Abbvie, fell sharply on reports that the US is looking to make rules over tax inversion deals stricter.
Budget carrier Easyjet managed to end the day higher after reporting a 7.7% jump in passenger numbers for June. Investors were still reeling from reports that Russia was considering a ban on European airlines flying over Siberia in response to Western sanctions, with sector peer IAG also under the weather.
Serco's shares were under pressure after Numis Securities cut its recommendation for the outsourcing group from 'hold' to 'reduce'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 985.00p +6.31%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,155.00p +3.00%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,033.00p +2.48%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,283.00p +2.23%
Carnival (CCL) 2,135.00p +2.15%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 822.50p +1.36%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 851.50p +1.25%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,390.50p +1.18%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 197.90p +1.10%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 2,035.00p +1.07%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,020.00p -4.14%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,680.00p -4.02%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,190.00p -3.58%
Standard Life (SL.) 358.20p -3.19%
ITV (ITV) 202.10p -2.37%
Tesco (TSCO) 245.55p -2.21%
St James's Place (STJ) 712.00p -2.13%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,416.00p -2.04%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 647.00p -1.97%
Barclays (BARC) 217.55p -1.96%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 162.30p +7.84%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 183.20p +6.14%
Xaar (XAR) 569.50p +5.07%
Polymetal International (POLY) 531.50p +4.73%
Interserve (IRV) 637.00p +3.92%
ITE Group (ITE) 200.00p +3.63%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,042.00p +3.07%
Drax Group (DRX) 710.00p +3.05%
Afren (AFR) 100.90p +2.85%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 657.00p +2.02%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Serco Group (SRP) 336.10p -4.84%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 182.20p -4.66%
EnQuest (ENQ) 123.20p -4.20%
Keller Group (KLR) 844.00p -3.87%
Hays (HAS) 116.20p -3.65%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,698.00p -3.41%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 315.00p -3.23%
Exova Group (EXO) 220.00p -3.08%
Pennon Group (PNN) 785.50p -3.02%
Just Eat (JE.) 208.50p -3.02%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Kofax Limited (DI) (KFX) 460.50p +4.54%
Puricore (PURI) 36.25p +2.11%
Anite (AIE) 90.50p +1.12%
NCC Group (NCC) 208.00p +1.09%
Microgen (MCGN) 124.50p +0.81%
KCOM Group (KCOM) 102.00p +0.49%
Promethean World (PRW) 28.62p +0.44%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,540.00p +0.33%
Gov Bond 7-10YR UCITS ETF (IEGM) € 193.11 +0.26%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Sarossa (SARS) 1.73p -9.21%
Gresham Computing (GHT) 111.00p -5.13%
Torotrak (TRK) 16.75p -4.96%
Dialight (DIA) 857.50p -3.76%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 2.95p -3.28%
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 90.00p -3.23%
Vectura Group (VEC) 135.50p -2.34%
Ricardo (RCDO) 606.00p -1.62%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 16.75p -1.47%
DRS Data & Research Services (DRS) 17.50p -1.41%