BRITAIN’S top shares fell yesterday as a new turnaround plan from Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, failed to impress markets.
HSBC took the most points off the blue-chip FTSE 100 index. Its shares closed down 0.9 per cent after investors and analysts questioned whether its pledge to shed almost 50,000 jobs would be enough to lift earnings. JPMorgan analysts called the plan “evolution, not revolution”.
Mining stocks Anglo American and Rio Tinto also took a hit from a broker downgrade. Global markets overall were hit by increasing speculation that the US Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than many have so far been expecting, potentially putting an end to years of easy money.
“We have seen a little bit of a pullback ... There is a fair amount of volatility in the market,” said London Capital Group analyst Brenda Kelly.
The FTSE 100 closed down 0.5 per cent at 6,753.80 points. The index is up about three per cent year-to-date, but has underperformed pan-European shares, which are up 11 per cent in the same period.