The FTSE 100 had a decidedly wobbly start to the school year, finishing the first full week of September 1.7 per cent lower than it started.
Having come tantalisingly close to the 7,000 mark last week, it finished today at 6,776.95 points, 1.2 per cent down. "You’d be forgiven for falling asleep this afternoon," complained SpreadEx financial analyst Connor Campbell.
Retailers were among the biggest fallers, with supermarket Morrisons dropping 3.7 per cent to 192.5p, while Tesco fell three per cent to 166.05p after three of its former executives were charged with fraud by the Serious Fraud Office, and Marks & Spencer fell 2.6 per cent to 343.9p.
On the bright side, banking stocks led a select group of risers. Royal Bank of Scotland ended the day up 2.3 per cent to 206.7p, while Barclays rose 0.9 per cent to 174.75p, HSBC was up 0.8 per cent at 578p and Lloyds rose 0.8 per cent to 59.32p, thanks in part to yesterday's market-pleasing meeting of the European Central Bank.
Today's losses were mainly down to a slide in Brent crude, analysts suggested. The black stuff was down more than 2.3 per cent, at $48.53, at the end of the day in London.
Our rating of the markets' first week back at school? Could try harder.