BRITAIN’S top share index fell to its lowest point in seven months yesterday, its worst losing run since 2011 as investor concerns over the global economy resurfaced.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index dropped 0.6 per cent to 6,367.89 points, its lowest level since January.
The index was down for the eighth straight session and has fallen every day since China devalued its currency last week.
“It’s a continuation of the theme we've seen ever since the Chinese devaluation.
“It’s a worrying sign that we're seeing such selling even despite dovish noises from the Fed,” said Josh Mahoney, market analyst at IG.
Miners, however, rallied as they benefited from foreign exchange movements.
The sector was up 2.6 per cent, having sunk to its lowest since 2009 on the Chinese devaluation.
The dollar’s fall following the Fed minutes sent copper and gold higher, and there was relief for miner Kaz Minerals. It surged 13.9 per cent after Kazakhstan floated the tenge, sending the currency tumbling.
The miner, which has about 45 per cent of its cost base denominated in tenge, reported that earnings more than halved in the first half, and that it would not pay an interim dividend.
While the tenge’s weakness had also sent shares 6.4 per cent higher on Wednesday, they remain down by around 30 per cent since the start of 2015.
Top risers on the FTSE 100 were miners with exposure to precious metals, such as Anglo American and Fresnillo.
Anglo American rose 4.38 per cent, while Fresnillo increased 5.63 per cent. Antofagasta rose 3.53 per cent while Glencore rebounded 2.45 per cent after dropping almost 10 per cent on Wednesday.
Mid-cap Lonmin rallied 18 per cent, recovering from recent falls after the drop in the dollar sent platinum higher.
Premier Oil gained 15.96 per cent despite swinging to a pre-tax loss in the first half, missing analysts’ expectations as it took a hit from impairment charges and lower oil prices.
Compass Group climbed 0.39 per cent after Jefferies upgraded to stock to “buy” from “hold” and lifted the price target to 1,200p from 1,100p.
Mondi, British American Tobacco and Hammerson were the top fallers on the index, all around 2.6 per cent lower as they went ex-dividend.