FTSE 100 in worst day in two years

| May 12, 2006 | 0 Comments

London equities markets were down substantially on Friday, with the FTSE 100 seeing its worst day in two years, dropping 2.2 percent to 5,912.1 and the FTSE 250 falling even more, by 2.6 percent to 9,811.8. The declines were a result of sell-offs in commodity and energy related stocks. The continued weakness of the US dollar was also a factor in declines in some sectors.

In the energy sector, BG Group dropped 3.6 percent, while British Energy declined by 2.9 percent to 665p.

Among miners, some losses were substantial. Mid-cap gold miner Randgold lost 11.6 percent to £11.96. Anglo American was down 4.8 percent to £24.25, while Antofagasta dropped 4.4 percent to £24.42. Rio Tinto declined by 4.2 percent and Kazakhmys was down by 4 percent to £13.35.

Fund managers were mixed, with those with substantial US exposure among the losers. Amvescap was down 3.4 percent to 571p. Man Group lost 2.4 percent to £25.28. Among gainers in the sector, Schroeders added 2.5 percent to £11.56 on an upgrade from “hold” to “buy” from Citigroup, which set its target share price at £12.80.

The weakness of the greenback in relation to sterling hurt companies that earn part of their revenues in dollars. Engine maker Rolls-Royce dropped 3.9 percent to 443¼p, while chemical company ICI was down 1.7 percent to 384½p.

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