Russian forces moving into eastern Ukraine sent City investors looking for direction yesterday as London’s top indexes posted a mixed day.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index added 0.13 per cent to reach 7,494.21 points, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, fell 0.49 per cent to 20,993.33 points.
Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday acknowledged two areas of eastern Ukraine occupied by Russian separatists before ordering armed forces to enter the areas for “peacekeeping” purposes.
The development raises the likelihood of full-blown incursion by Moscow into Ukraine, stoking investor concerns in the City today.
Oil prices skyrocketed nearly five per cent on the news, with Brent Crude now closing in on $100 a barrel.
Fund manager Hargreaves Lansdown was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 after it announced a 20 per cent drop in first half profits. Its shares closed down nearly 16 per cent.
Miners that could have been hit by further economic sanctions in retaliation to Russian aggression continued their descent during the morning session before snapping back sharply.
Polymetal International and Evraz both fell 4.58 per cent and 2.25 per cent respectively during the opening session, before both finishing deeply in the green.
The pound lost ground on the greenback, weakening 0.06 per cent to buy $1.359.
Europe’s top indexes all close slightly lower.