A NEAR destruction of Russian exposed London-listed stocks held the City’s top index lower today in a wild day of trading on the Square Mile.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index lost as much as 1.4 per cent during the morning, before finishing down 0.42 per cent at 7,458.25 points.
Meanwhile, the domestically-focused FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, fell 0.87 per cent during early exchanges, before rallying to close 0.83 per cent higher.
Investors were spooked by the possible spillover effects of tough economic sanctions levied on Russia after the first signs of the curb’s impact emerged today.
London-based stocks with operations in Russia or Ukraine suffered heavy losses today driven by a sharp and sudden weakening in the Russian rouble reducing the value of their Russian based exports.
The rouble fell as much as 30 per cent against the dollar.
Miner Polymetal International fell over 50 per cent, while steel maker Evraz lost around 30 per cent.
Sweeping economic sanctions launched by the West prompted a flight from the two industrial firms.
There are mounting fears that future measures could result in Evraz’s trading in steel and Polymetal’s silver and gold business being heavily curtailed.
Polymetal recently reported encouraging fourth-quarter results as it recovers from the pandemic, however the ensuing crisis in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country is overpowering any positive sentiment from its improved performance.
Both stocks have plummeted since Moscow ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine.
Oil giant BP was also among the worst performers in London, tumbling nearly four per cent, indicating investors did not take kindly to it providing little information on how it will dispose of its near 20 per cent stake in Russian energy firm Rosneft.
Aerospace and defence firm BAE System was by far the best stock on the FTSE 100, surging 10.2 per cent as a flurry of European countries, including Germany, set out intentions to ramp up defence spending after Russia’s aggression.
The pound fell against the dollar.