Friday 17 September 2021 4:00 pm

Tumbling miners drag FTSE 100 down to two month low

Plummeting mining stocks dragged London’s FTSE 100 down to its lowest level since the end of July, ending a choppy week on the capital’s markets firmly in the red.

The capital’s premier index slid 0.64 per cent to fall to 6,982.63 points heading into the final hour of trading this week. The FTSE is set to register sharp losses for the week.

A sea of red among mining stocks plagued the blue-chip index today, with the likes of Anglo American, BHP and Rio Tinto all down more than 3.95 per cent.

The losses came after London markets shook off week UK retail sales data to rise during early exchanges. 

Retail sales sank 0.9 per cent unexpectedly in August, driven lower by a combination of consumers shunning buying ingredients to cook from home and heading to restaurants instead and retailers struggling to put stock on shelves amid supply chain snarl ups.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “August’s retail numbers were hit by shortages, though the big retailers were able to flex their muscles to keep stock on the shelves.”

“An exception to the otherwise downbeat shopping trends were clothes and fuel, as people are out and about more they clearly care more about their appearance and are using their cars to get from A to B.”

Travel stocks continued their rise, stopping a rout on the FTSE today, after more reports emerged today suggesting the government will simplify the travel traffic light system and scrap mandatory PCR test for double jabbed holidaymakers visiting the UK.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 fared better, led higher by consumer stocks despite poor retail sales figures. The index was up 00.23 per cent to 23,685.97 points, while Aim shares jumped 0.44 per cent to 1,277.76 points.

The pound lost ground on the greenback, weakening 0.30 per cent to $1.3746.

Winners and losers

Travel offset set losses on the FTSE 100, with the British Airways parent company IAG topping the risers table, climbing 4.77 per cent to 149.26p. 

Aerospace engineer Rolls Royce added 1.82 per cent to reach 111.04p. Tui and easyJet, both listed on the mid-cap index, posted mixed results, with the former up 5.57 per cent and the latter soaring 3.63 per cent.

Industrial stocks extended their awful performance this week, with Anglo American topping the worst performers table, plummeting 6.88 per cent to 2,624.50p

Around the world

Asian markets ploughed firmly into the green overnight, as sentiment toward the region’s economic recovery despite surging Covid cases strengthened.

Japan’s NIkkei climbed 0.58 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.03 per cent. China’s CSI 300 gained one per cent.

London’s shocking performance was extended into the continent, with both the Dax 30 and pan-Europe Stoxx 600 dropping more than 0.60 per cent.

Wall Street opened lower as investors brace for the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting next Wednesday. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones were all in the red heading into the early afternoon session.