Bounce turns to rout as fear lingers

An EARLY attempt to bounce out of Thursday’s massive sell-off came to nothing as negative sentiment created by the planned withdrawal of US stimulus measures took hold again during afternoon trading.

London’s top share index lost more than 100 points from its mid-morning high point to close at 6,116.17, down 43.34 points on the day.

Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG, said: “The fall back into the red is a sign that the negative feelings from Wednesday’s Fed meeting haven’t dispersed just yet.”

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Royal Bank of Scotland was the biggest blue-chip faller as renewed talk of splitting the group into “good” and “bad” operations continued to worry investors. The shares were down 22p at 281.7p, a fall of more than 7 per cent. The other banks also continued to struggle following this week’s revelation that five lenders have been ordered to raise a further £13.4 billion to plug a bigger-than-expected hole in their collective finances. Lloyds Banking Group shed 0.23p to 61p, HSBC dipped 2.9p to 661.6p and Barclays fell 6.5p to 281.6p.

Miner Fresnillo was on the back foot, down more than 5 per cent at 911p, as silver prices continued to weaken. But there was better news for copper firms as their rates firmed, helping Antofagasta add 14p at 838.5p.

A positive broker note from JP Morgan Cazenove was enough to put packaging distributor Bunzl on top of the FTSE 100 risers’ board. It gained 26p or just over 2 per cent at 1,259p.

Outside the top tier, regional airline Flybe edged up 0.25p to 41.5p despite reporting annual losses widening to £23.2 million as analysts forecast improvements thanks to cost-cutting action.

NEW YORK: US stocks mostly rose in a late rebound last night, with the Dow and S&P 500 ending two days of heavy losses, though traders continued to fret over planned changes to the Federal Reserve’s easy money policy.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 44.31 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 14,802.63 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ended up 4.45 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 1,592.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 7.39 points, or 0.22 per cent, to close at 3,357.25.