London Report: FTSE slumps to a two-week low as Sports Direct falls

THE UK’S blue chip share index hit a two-week low yesterday, with Sports Direct leading losses after a share sale by founder Mike Ashley and technicals pointing to a bearish market outlook in the near term.

Sports Direct, Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer, slumped 9.2 per cent after Ashley sold 25m shares, while financial stocks were also hard hit on concerns about earnings and valuations.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.5 per cent weaker at 6,590.69 points after touching its lowest since late March at 6,549.75.

It added to a 1.1 per cent loss on Monday.

Financials were the worst hit, with Lloyds down two per cent, Barclays down 1.3 per cent, Resolution falling 3.8 per cent and Prudential dropping 1.5 per cent.

Among other sharp movers, food and fashion conglomerate Associated British Foods fell 3.9 per cent, with traders attributing ABF’s fall to a profit warning yesterday by German sugar producer Suedzucker.