Ruth Mitchell

Markets and commodities slide amid European fears - Latest Market Analysis

Following a modest relief rally last week, equity markets tumbled on Monday as investors fretted as to whether Greece would qualify for the further financial assistance required to prevent its default. Wider political worries were also evident as a weekend meeting of European finance ministers lacked any positive contribution. As has been typical of late, they delayed the decision over more Greek funding into October. Further, local election defeats for Angela Merkel’s CDU party in Germany highlighted deepening political divides within the Eurozone.

A conference call between Greece and its creditors was delayed today, contributing to the negative sentiment that saw FTSE down more than 2%, almost eradicating last week’s gains. Unsurprisingly, banking stocks were once again in the limelight with losses in the region of 6%. Mining stocks saw similarly precipitous declines, mirroring commodities that slid as markets priced in slower growth in the US and Europe. Brent Crude lost 2.1% by the close of London trade, with copper falling to a nine month low.

On a stock specific level, Ocado Group was the biggest faller on the FTSE 250, losing 11.4%. The online grocer released a disappointing 3Q trading statement, echoing warnings from other retailers of slowing sales. Within the FTSE 100 index, Antofagasta was the biggest decliner with an 8.2% loss, largely attributable to copper’s dramatic decline. It was closely followed by Kazakhmys and Xstrata with losses in the region 7%. The FTSE ended the off 109 points or 2.0% at 5260 points, faring better than the CAC40 and DAX that were lower by an additional 1%.

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