Profit-taking ended a remarkable winning streak on the stock markets today, as the post-referendum bull run ran out of steam and the disappointing economic data began to trickle through.
The FTSE 100 closed the session down 0.8 per cent at 6,522.26, despite storming through the 6,600 barrier for the first time since August 2015 in the first hour of trading.
It started to turn red for the bluechips after a "dire" construction purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed output at its weakest for seven years. Housebuilders plunged on the news amid fears the industry could sink even lower in the wake of the EU referendum result.
4 July 2016 @ 4:30pmFTSE 100 (UKX)
The spillover from the PMI rocked the FTSE 250 even harder. That dropped by more than two per cent as the mid-caps continue to fare the worst in the post-referendum ups-and-downs. However, with US trading desks shut down for Independence Day celebrations - the irony not lost on market commentators - trading volumes were a little quieter in the City and a semblance of normality crept back to affairs.
It was a better day for sterling, which managed to climb 0.2 per cent to $1.3298, and Chris Beauchamp at IG raised the prospect of a mini, albeit short-term, bump: "The resilience of the pound today despite the dire construction PMI this morning will no doubt reinforce the view that the currency is due for a bounce, at least in the short term, even if we can expect the UK currency to continue to weaken over the rest of the second half."