FTSE 100 lower as Barclays steals headlines

The leading share index opened modestly down this morning, but the real focus was on Barclays, as it appointed head of the retail bank Antony Jenkins as its new chief executive.

Miner Ferrexpo led the fallers, losing 10.2 per cent in early trading, as the company went ex-dividend yesterday.

Recruitment firm Hays fell 8.48 per cent, despite this morning posting an 11 per cent profit rise for the first six months of the year. It admitted that the UK market was a particularly challenging one.

Global advertising group WPP shed 4.15 per cent as it nudged its full-year revenue forecast down.

Platinum miner Aquarius Platinum also lost ground in early trading, down 4.48 per cent. The South African platinum belt has been crisis-hit this week, as it was revealed renewed violence was occurring at the Lonmin mine.

With regards to the risers, industrial group Cape was up 16.82 per cent in early trading, despite the firm posting a first-half loss of almost 65 per cent.

Home shopping group Findel continued its rise, up 11.4 per cent.

Student property developer Unite Group rose 4.59 per cent, buoyed by its increased half-year profits.

UK financials mostly fell this morning, as investors fretted over the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into payments between Barclays and the Middle East.

HSBC fell 0.61 per cent, Lloyds Banking Group fell 1.88 per cent and Barclays was off by 0.91 per cent. Only RBS was up, by 0.77 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.95 per cent down, while in the US the Dow Jones closed up by 0.03 per cent yesterday.