Fresh evidence that US policymakers will resist the urge to provide more emergency support and ongoing fears over the eurozone caused a 2% drop on London’s leading shares index today.
The FTSE 100 Index closed 134.6 points lower at 5,703.8 after America’s central bank appeared to back away from further quantitative easing for the world’s biggest economy.
Miners saw falls of up to 8%, with silver-focused Fresnillo down £1.38 at £15.33, Antofagasta off 49p at £11.03 and Kazakhmys 30p lower at £8.87.
There were fresh losses for Royal Bank of Scotland, which dropped for a second successive session, with a decline of 0.8p to 26.1p. Elsewhere in the banking sector, Barclays was 11.9p lower at 218.5p.
Marks and Spencer (M&S) was also on the fallers board after Barclays Capital lowered its target price to £3.45 and said it was concerned that incremental returns on investment would not be seen until next year.
M&S was 13.8p lower at £3.70 and the high street giant was joined on the fallers board by rival Next after its chief executive, Simon Wolfson, sold £3.8million of shares. The move caused a nervous reaction among shareholders as the stock slipped £1.23 to £29.37.
Minority shareholders in International Power continue to hold out for a higher offer for the 30% not already owned by France’s GDF Suez.
The generation firm’s independent directors have rejected an offer of £3.90 a share and with market speculation suggesting a price of £4.05 the company’s share price remained near to that level, dropping 0.8p to 402.2p.
Other big Footsie fallers included Evraz off 26p at 353.6p, Man Group down 7.3p at 122.8p and Schroders off 63p at £11.42.
There were no Footsie risers after pharmaceutical firm Shire lost hold of earlier gains to stand 5p lower at £20.25.
Outside the FTSE 100, restaurant chain Prezzo was down 0.3p at 66.5p after it outlined plans for another 20 restaurants and said underlying profits rose 14% to £16.4million last year.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted BG Group falling 4.9% to £14.09, Weir Group off 4.7% at £17.05 and FirstGroup shedding 4.3% to 216.8p. John Menzies added 1.2% to £6.05.