London markets plummeted today as investors were spooked by a seeming false alarm on a de-escalation in the Russia-Ukraine saga.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index dropped 0.87 per cent to 7,537.37 points, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, plunged 1.24 per cent to 21,557.68 points.
Conflicting reports of Russian troops being pulled back from the Ukraine border left investors flummoxed today, leading to a severely risk-off session in the City.
Asian-focused British bank Standard Chartered was among the best performers on the FTSE 100, adding more than 1.7 per cent after tumbling as much as four per cent during the morning session.
The lender’s bankers are set to share an estimated $1.37bn (£1bn) bonus pool.
Industrials, which have been on a tear of late due to soaring inflation boosting sentiment toward the sector, also dragged down London’s top index.
Evraz, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta all closed down more than 2.3 per cent.
Commodity prices tend to act as a good hedge against inflation, meaning investors have increased their exposure to miners amid red hot price rises.
Meanwhile, on the FTSE 250 price comparison site Moneysupermarket.com was among the top share, adding 2.83 per cent despite registering a sharp drop in revenues due to a reduction in the number of cheap energy deals on the market amid the gas crunch.
The pound gained ground on the greenback, strengthening 0.3 per cent to buy $1.3624.