FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: Aberdeen hit by Argentine collapse

Shares in Aberdeen Asset Management tumbled almost 6 per cent as volatility in emerging markets weighed on London’s blue-chips.

The investment firm lost 24.1p at 397.3p as investors fretted over its heavy exposure to Latin America, after Argentina’s central bank gave up its battle to shore up the nation’s currency.

Ed Woolfitt, head of trading at Galvan, said: “Obviously the market is separating the wheat from the chaff – Aberdeen Asset Management has got huge emerging markets exposure.”

Aberdeen’s peer Ashmore was among the steepest fallers in the midcap index, off 5.2 per cent at 325.8p.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 109.54 points, or 1.6 per cent, at 6,663.74, its lowest close since 20 December and its biggest one-day drop this year.


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Lloyds Banking Group was down 2 per cent after Investec Securities removed its “buy” rating on the stock, citing the possibility of a further hit from payment protection insurance repayments. Shares fell 1.7p to 81.4p.

Royal Mail shares were 15.5p lower at 572.5p after a trading update in which it highlighted an 8 per cent rise in parcels revenues for the first nine months of the year. The company, whose shares have shot up from 330p since its flotation in October, said it was trading in line with expectations, helped by a busy December for parcels and Christmas cards.

However, broker Panmure Gordon used the update as an opportunity to cut its recommendation on the stock to “hold” from “buy”.

And there was no sign of a festive bounce for train set firm Hornby as it warned it will make a loss this year due to the impact of continued supply chain issues in China. The Scalextric and Airfix maker saw shares fall by 4 per cent, off 3p to 77.5p.