Further earnings gloom sends the FTSE to its biggest drop in a month

BRITAIN’S top share index fell for a third session yestrday, weighed down by concerns over weak earnings and the Eurozone crisis after a failed attempt last week to break through technical resistance levels.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 posted its biggest one-day drop in nearly a month, bringing the index to its lowest levels in a week and wiping out last week’s 1.8 per cent rise.

A profit warning from Aim-listed Mulberry added to the string of disappointing earnings from across the globe, while Moody’s downgrade of five Spanish regions, including Catalonia, also depressed sentiment.

“We suddenly had some poor earnings, a few little mentions of Europe, and I think there’s been enough of a reason to take your profits,” said Ed Woolfitt, head of trading at Galvan.

The FTSE 100 closed down 85 points, or 1.44 per cent, at 5,797.91 at the close.

Copper miner Kazakhmys was the biggest faller, losing 4.6 per cent as the mining sector shaved 13 points off the index. Trading updates from heavyweight miners pose particular concerns given the slowing growth in top metals consumer China and the recent retreat in copper prices, which hit six-week lows yesterday.

Copper miner Antofagasta fell 3.4 per cent.

Burberry was a top faller, down 3.2 per cent, after rival luxury brand Mulberry became the latest in the sector to issue a profit warning.