The FTSE 100 underperformed its major global peers yesterday, suffering its steepest intra-day drop so far this month as falls in private equity company 3i, stocks trading ex-dividend and a stronger pound hammered the exporter-heavy index.
The main index fell 0.8 per cent with 3i hitting a five-month low after striking a cautious tone about new investment opportunities and as heavyweight components Sainsbury , Shell and GSK traded without dividend entitlement.
The mid-cap FTSE 250 was 0.3 per cent lower, with transport operator First Group dropping nearly 20 per cent on its worst day since May 2018 after a bigger first-half loss due to a charge related to its Greyhound bus business in the US.
Dollar earners were among the top drags on the main bourse as sterling strengthened on hopes that Conservatives will win a majority in the December election and finally break the deadlock surrounding Britain's departure from the EU.
Luxury brand Burberry outperformed the index, rising 3.4 per cent as the popularity of designer Riccardo Tisci's collections boosted quarterly sales and offset declines in Hong Kong where trading was hit by ongoing protests.
A host of trigger points, including weak Chinese factory output data, anxiety around US-China trade, and political uncertainty in the US amid an impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump also weighed on sentiment globally.
Slowing Chinese factory output growth was another sign of how Beijing's trade dispute with Washington was weighing on demand. China said the countries were holding in-depth discussions on a socalled phase one trade agreement. G4S lost 2.4 per cent after Norway's central bank said the country's wealth fund can no longer invest in the security services company because of the risk that it is responsible for human rights violations.
Airport operator Stobart fell five per cent on the small-cap index after suspending its dividend and posting a bigger first-half loss.
TOP RISERS 1. Burberry Up 3.35 per cent 2. Hiscox Up 2.64 per cent 3. Coca-Cola HBC Up 2.12 per cent TOP FALLERS 1. 3i Down 4.58 per cent 2. Vodafone Down 3.31 per cent 3. DCC Down 3.28 per cent
Transport firm First Group's shares dropped fifth in value yesterday
(c) 2019 City A.M., source Newspaper