World markets slumped into the red today, rattled by fears talks to avoid the US fiscal cliff are in disarray.
In London, the FTSE 100 Index pulled back further from the 6,000 mark – down 18.3 points to 5,939.9 – as the Plan B put forward by House Speaker John Boehner failed to gather enough support among Republicans for it to go to a vote.
Mining stock Evraz led the top flight fallers’ board amid heightened fears that the world’s largest economy risks being plunged back into recession. It fell 3%, off 9.2p to 257.8p.
Telecom giant BT also saw share losses after it was fined £95million for overcharging rivals Cable and Wireless Worldwide, BSkyB, Talk Talk, Virgin Media and Verizon to use its network. Shares were 2.6p lower at 239.8p.
Banking firms were also hit by fears for the global economy, with Barclays falling 3.8p to £2.63 and Lloyds Banking Group losing 0.9p to 48.3p.
BAE Systems shares were also suffering – down 1.9p at 346.1p – despite the confirmation of a £2.5billion deal to sell 20 aircraft to Oman, which was higher than expected by many analysts.
Insurance giant Aviva announced the latest move in its restructuring plan with a £1.1billion deal to offload its US life and pensions arm, but shares slipped 1.3p to 382.7p.
In the FTSE 250, office rental firm Regus was 4% higher – up 4p to £1.09 – after it after unveiled a £40million bid for London’s largest serviced office provider, MWB Business Exchange, to boost its presence in the capital.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Xcite Energy falling 2.34% to 84p, Hunting slipping 1.9% to £7.69 and Petrofac shedding 1.7% to £6.35.
Risers included FirstGroup adding 2.5% to £2.09, Plexus Holdings rising 1.1% to 272.5p and Bridge Energy up 1.4% at £1.07.