At the close: Stocks and sterling on the slide

Jake Cordell
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Stocks sliding down at the start of the month
Stocks sliding down at the start of the month (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 picked up where yesterday left off, shedding yet more points as a package of opinion polls, weak economic data, and a miserable start to meteorological summer dented traders' spirits.

The London index dropped 0.6 per cent to fall below the 6,200 mark, after it missed out on stumbling to four consecutive months of gains yesterday, closing down at 6,191.93.

Wolseley was the day's worst performer, shedding 5.7 per cent to close at 3,824p after it announced a £20m restructuring and a "challenging" start to the year.

It was followed by companies from a broad spread of industries - Sainsbury's dropped 4.6 per cent, Taylor Wimpey lost 3.9 per cent, and Rio Tinto, Persimmon and Travis Perkins were all down by more than three per cent.

1 June 2016 @ 4:30pmFTSE 100 (UKX)

Talk of the town was (surprise, surprise) Brexit as another opinion poll showed the Leave side may not be trailing Remain in the polls. Sterling responded predictably, almost falling below $1.44 in intraday trading. By the time the stock markets closed it was clinging on, down 0.5 per cent at $1.4402.

"June has started with less of a bang and more of a pop today, as investors were sent packing towards havens and away from the risk assets that have been so reliable of late," said Joshua Mahony of IG.

It was a similarly bleak day across the channel, as purchasing managers' indexes (PMI) for the Eurozone showed manufacturing still struggling. The German Dax lost 0.7 per cent to stand at 10,192.93 while the Cac 40 in Paris was down 0.8 per cent at 4,471.66.

Tomorrow the markets should start off a little less choppy, as anticipation turns to the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting in Vienna tomorrow lunchtime.

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