The global market sell-off continued on Wall Street after European exchanges fell for the second straight day because of the rising geopolitical tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
In London the FTSE 100 was 110.78 points, or 1.5 per cent, lower at 7,385.99 although 41 points of that fall was also due to stocks trading without entitlement to their latest dividend. In Paris the CAC 40 fell by 0.8 per cent while Germany’s Dax was 1.2 per cent down.
In New York by mid-morning all US markets were deep in the red. The Dow Jones industrial average was 112.90 points off at 21,934.91 while the broader S&P 500 was down 0.8 per cent at 2,453.88.
BT led the fallers on the blue chip index, down 14¼p at 298.90p. Lloyds Banking Group was also under pressure, shedding ¾p to 65p, as Diageo and Rio Tinto slipped 19½p to £24.73 and 3p to £34.79½ respectively. Heavyweight oil stocks also went ex-dividend, with Royal Dutch Shell B dropping 41½p to £22.02 and BPby 11¼p to 457½p.
Graham Bishop, investment director at Heartwood Investment Management, said: “Global equities seem to be a little unnerved over recent days. The market’s fear index, the Vix, which measures implied volatility, has risen from 9 to 13 over the last fortnight. Similarly, safe haven securities, such as gold, have been rallying somewhat.”
On the Footsie, Coca-Cola HBC defied the gloom with a surge of 8.8 per cent after its half-year filing surprised the City. Operating profits picked up almost 21 per cent, it said, boosted by a warm June and later Easter. Shares in the bottler gained 211p to £25.92.
Worldpay also continued to rise after revealing further details of its pending takeover by Vantiv. The payment processing group picked up 22¾p to 407¼p.
The FTSE 250 also struggled, down on the day 183.03 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 19,694.42.