At the close: FTSE 100 index falls further to cap off a bad week

James Nickerson
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The FTSE started the week at 6,424 points (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 index fell again on Friday, finishing just under 6,000 to cap off a bad week, as concerns over the Chinese economy continued to weigh.

"A turbulent start to 2016 has seen investors adopting the brace position, as a combination of factors have driven global markets lower," Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

"With the Chinese deciding that the idea of a circuit breaker is broken... some stability returned to Asian markets overnight."

The UK's blue-chip index closed 0.7 per cent lower at 5,912 points, led lower by retailers, as well as oil and mining companies.

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Among the most dramatic falls was Sports Direct, whose share price plummeted 15.37 per cent to close at 433.3p. Earlier today the company issued a profit warning (at the rather unusual time of 11.30am), claiming warm weather deterred shoppers over the key Christmas period.

"Shares of Sports Direct were crushed after the athletic-clothing retailer issued a profit warning. The warning adds to fears that consumers could morally shun the company over its 'gulag-esque' warehouse working conditions," Jasper Lawler, analyst at CMC Markets, said.

"It could also cast more of a spotlight on the company’s questionable stakes in other companies including yesteryear’s sports brand Umbro."

It was a bad day for FTSE2 250-listed retailers, too, with DFS, Debenhams and Jimmy Choo all falling. DFS fell 2.17 per cent to 311.1p per share, while Debenhams' share price dropped 4.21 per cent to 64.85p and Jimmy Choo closed 7.28 per cent down at 117.1p per share.

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Meanwhile, the woes of mining companies continued. Anglo American fell 4.76 per cent to 229.2p per share, while BHP Billiton increased 3.21 per cent to 652.1p per share, and Antofagasta fell three per cent to 398.3p.

As for oil companies, BP fell 2.67 per cent to 328.7p per share, while Shell closed at 1,375.5p per share, a 5.92 per cent fall.

Not bad news for everyone, though. Tesco, whose Christmas results are due out next week, led the risers on the FTSE after a broker upgrade. The supermarket's shares rose 5.53 per cent to 146.9p after Barclays raised its stock to overweight from equal weight.

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