Markets: Financials feel pais as FTSE falls

Aberdeen Asset Management was one of the biggest casualties of yesterday’s sell-off on the FTSE 100 as investors worried about its exposure to even more volatile emerging markets.

The fund manager’s stock plunged 18.3p to 395.8p, or more than 4 per cent, as a recommendation cut by Merrill Lynch combined with a poor performance for finacial stocks gererally. Rival Schroders fared little better, down 4 per cent at 2,159p.

Tepid economic data and reluctance by Bank of Japan policymakers to sweeten their stimulus package at this stage weighed on the FTSE 100 index, although it recovered some of its early losses to close 60.37 points lower at 6,340.08.

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Brenda Kellyat IG said: “The outlook for global growth means the mining sector is once again broadly lower and exacerbating the FTSE decline relative to the other European bourses.”

Miners dominated the fallers’ board, with Evraz slumping almost 6 per cent or 7.3p to 117.3p and Anglo American down more than 3 per cent at 1,371.5p. Randgold Resources dropped nearly 2 per cent or 99p to 4,926p as the yellow metal tested new three-week lows.

In corporate news, Britvic and AG Barr shares failed to find any fizz despite the backing of the Competition Commission for the pair’s potential £1.4 billion merger. Britvic shares were 14p lower at 486.5p, while Irn-Bru owner AG Barr dipped 6p to 503p.

On the Alternative Investment Market, shares in Edinburgh-based dating website operator Cupid were higher as Toscafund continued to build its stake. The hedge fund added to the previous day’s purchases, taking its holding to almost 11.5 per cent and helping the beleagered stock rise 4.5 per cent to 76.25p.

NEW YORK: Wall Street slid in a volatile session last night after Japan’s central bank disappointed equity markets by holding steady its monetary policy.

The Dow Jones industrial 
average closed down 116.26 points, or 0.76 per cent, at 15,122.33 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 16.62 points, or 1.01 per cent, at 1,626.19 by the close. 
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 36.82 points, or 1.06 per cent, to end the day at 3,436.95.