FTSE 100 index closes lower as the price of oil slides and share prices of ITV and Intertek fall

James Nickerson
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Miners performed well on Wednesday (Source: Getty)

After a positive start to Wednesday's trading, the FTSE 100 swung into a loss for the day as the share prices of ITV and Intertek faltered.

The UK's blue chip index closed 0.09 per cent lower at 6,147 points, as oil prices fell after it was revealed inventories rose.

"A slide back in oil prices appears to have been the main catalyst behind the caution now permeating into some of today’s more cautious trading, as US oil inventories rose sharply by over 10m barrels, reflecting a similar sharp rise in the API numbers late last night," said chief markets analyst at CMC Markets Michael Hewson.

"Today’s slightly more cautious outlook appears to be predicated on the belief that while some of the more recent economic data hasn’t been as bad as feared, it still remains some way short of a significant rebound in economic activity, and todays sharp builds in oil inventories have crystallised that sentiment, particularly after the strong gains of recent days," he added.

Intertek fell after it reported a loss on the oil price rout. Its share price fell 4.63 per cent to 2,865p.

ITV, for their part, fell after warning that the European championships, which start this summer, will affect advertisers' spending decisions over the next few months and therefore expects revenue to be flat for the first quarter.

The drop in viewing numbers also appears to have raised concerns that the company is losing market share. Its share price dropped 3.49 per cent to 240.9p per share.

And housebuilders took a hit after weaker than expected construction PMI figures for February.

Taylor Wimpey fell 2.62 per cent to 182.3p per share, while Berkeley Group and Barratt Developments dropped 3.94 per cent to 3,118p per share and 2.78 per cent to 578p per share respectively. Persimmon ended the day at 2,114p per share, a 3.16 per cent fall.

But miners did well. Anglo American led the charge, up 6.68 per cent to 524.1p per share, while BHP Billiton jumped 5.13 per cent to 778.4p per share.

Rio Tinto and Glencore were up 3.48 per cent to 2,007.5p per share and 3.75 per cent higher at 135.4p per share respectively. Antofagasta climbed 3.59 per cent to 508p per share.

"The fact that Asian markets are powering ahead this morning coupled with Glasenberg’s positive comments yesterday about China as a metals consumer have helped to underpin the stock despite a broker downgrade from Renaissance Capital. Copper prices have also stabilised for the moment and the surprisingly good Australian GDP data print is giving all commodity producers a leg higher," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, market analyst at London Capital Group.

And Banks continued their recovery too. HSBC was up 2.31 per cent to 471.6p per share, while Standard Chartered rose to 454.85 per share, a 5.3 per cent rise.

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