Tullow drags index lower - London Report

BRITAIN’S top equity index briefly touched a new record high yesterday before turning negative as commodity stocks weakened, led lower by a slump in Tullow Oil.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 equity index rose as much as 0.3 per cent to a record intraday high of 6,974.26 points, with early gains propelled by mining stocks after China, the world’s biggest consumer of metals, cut interest rates over the weekend.

However, the miners tracked copper lower following their initial rise, with analysts saying that the cut raised worries over the state of China’s growth.

“While the rate cut would seem be good for the miners, it’s a worry that the Chinese central bank feels the need to do this,” said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG.

“It’s a reflection of the fact that anticipated growth in China could be weaker than previously thought.”

The reversal in the mining sector saw the FTSE 100 turn negative after the new high. It was down 6.02 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 6,940.64 at the close.

Tullow Oil was the day’s biggest faller, dropping 7.7 per cent on concerns that a boundary row between Ivory Coast and Ghana could delay drilling plans.