FTSE 100 closes lower after ECB president Mario Draghi takes stocks on a rollercoaster ride of emotions

Emma Haslett
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Oh, Mr Draghi. What have you done to us?

The FTSE finished almost 1.8 per cent lower at 6,036.7 points today - perilously close to the 6,000 mark - after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi sent equities (and the euro. And gold) on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

The index started the day off undulating gently, before rising to 6,199 points on news the ECB had slashed its deposit rate to minus 0.4 per cent, as well as increasing its quantitative easing programme by €20m a month (European banks were positively euphoric). But alas, it was not to last: stocks went into steady decline for the rest of the afternoon.

Meanwhile, the euro fell sharply against the dollar, before slamming itself into reverse and rising 1.65 per cent, to $1.1180, as Draghi hinted rates are unlikely to be cut any further.

But that hit equities, said Jasper Lawler, markets analyst at CMC Markets

"Some of the initial [equities] euphoria was nullified by the suggestion by ECB president Mario Draghi that rates would not be cut any further."

But oil prices - which slid below $40 again today - also took their toll.

"The cancelled meeting between Opec and non-Opec countries including Russia saw oil prices reverse early gains. It appears Iran’s unwillingness to even consider an output freeze has derailed the meeting and could even scupper the freeze itself."

In the UK, miners including BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Glencore were hit - although Direct Line was the biggest faller, sliding 9.2 per cent to 358.6p.

Shopping centre owner Intu Properties was the biggest riser, up 1.46 per cent to 299.8p, while Aviva erased some of its earlier gains, rising 1.35 per cent to 465.8p after strong results.

10 March 2016 @ 4:30pmFTSE 100 (UKX)

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