London was led lower by its mining giants on Monday as a bruising session for global stock markets saw the FTSE 100 register its worst day for weeks.
The FTSE ended at 7,380.54 points, a loss of 141.14 points, or 1.9%.
It was the index’s lowest point for more than a month and its worst-one day performance since March 4.
It was weighed on by Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Glencore, which dropped due to falling metal prices. While oil prices also dipped – Brent crude down 6.3% to 99.91 dollars per barrel – BP and Shell felt the heat.
“Basic resource stocks have been absolutely rinsed on the back of these slowdown concerns as fears of lockdowns across China, and further supply chain disruptions impact on the prospect of any sort of recovery story,” said Michael Hewson, an analyst at CMC Markets.
In Frankfurt the Dax fell by 1.5%, while Paris’s Cac 40 dropped 2%.
On Wall Street shortly after European markets had closed, the S&P 500 was down 1.6% and the Dow Jones 1.4% below its close on Friday.
“European markets have been a sea of red today, after a weak lead from Asia which was prompted by sharp falls in Chinese markets as the Covid situation in Shanghai continued to deteriorate, with deaths rising to a record level,” Mr Hewson said.
“Notwithstanding that, Covid cases are now starting to manifest themselves in Beijing, raising concerns over a strict lockdown there.
“This, in turn, has prompted concerns that China’s zero Covid policy will hobble the ability of the Chinese government in meeting its GDP target for this year.
“The 5.5% target had already started to look difficult to achieve after Q1 GDP came in at 4.8%, and with little sign of an economic reopening this target is already being revised lower by various banks.”
“The re-election of Emmanuel Macron as French President has almost become an irrelevance to the wider overall concerns around the global economy, offering little in the way of a lift to French markets or the euro.”
Sterling dropped 0.04% to 1.2709 against the dollar and 0.03% to 1.187 euros.
In company news, activist investor Cat Rock Capital has encouraged Just Eat Takeaway.com shareholders to vote the company’s finance boss off the board next week.
Cat Rock owns a nearly 7% stake in the business. It said that several board members should not be re-elected at the annual general meeting following a disappointing trading update last week.
Just Eat is already considering selling GrubHub, which it bought for £5.8 billion just two years ago. Cat Rock said that the purchase had been a “mistake” and new leaders were needed to rebuild credibility.
Shares rose 0.6%.
Meanwhile McColl’s, the convenience store, revealed that an attempt to finance the company would likely leave normal shareholders out of pocket.
The troubled retailer said that it is in rescue talks with banks and lenders to get more money through the door. But that funding would likely wipe out most of the value of shares.
After the announcement shares in McColl’s – which have already been struggling over the last year – fell by nearly 55%.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Reckitt, up 178p to 6316p, Unilever, up 65.5p to 3,606.5p, Hikma, up 27p to 2,039p, Hargreaves Lansdown, up 12p to 978.8p, and Dechra Pharmaceuticals, up 44p to 336.6p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Anglo American, down 237p to 3,223.5p, BP, down 24p to 368.85p, Glencore, down 27p to 449.35p, Aveva, down 138p to 2,381p, and Ashtead, down 245p to 4,394p.