BRITISH airline shares fell sharply yesterday on news that a Malaysian Airline Boeing 777 had been shot down over eastern Ukraine.
The FTSE 100 finished 46.35 points down, or 0.68 per cent, on 6,738.32, while gold added $20 to $1,322 an ounce on increased tensions caused by the west’s tougher sanctions on Russia.
British Airways owner International Airlines Consolidated Group fell sharply immediately after reports of the crash at 4pm, ending 10.3p, or three per cent, lower at 330.7p. EasyJet also fell, ending down 1.18 per cent at 1,341p.
Mining shares were hit by a series of downgrades from Canaccord Genuity, with Kazakhmys closing 5.35 per cent lower at 302.7p, Antofagasta falling 1.52 per cent to 812p and BHP Billiton losing 1.23 per cent to 2,009p.
Barclays fell 5.8p to 210.2p as Exane BNP Paribas cut its target price from 280p to 225p.
On the upside, ITV jumped 6.15 per cent to 195.1p after Virgin Media-owner Liberty Global bought a 6.4 per cent per cent stake in the broadcaster from BSkyB for £481m.