Markets: Tullow heads falls over JV update

Driller Tullow Oil was the biggest faller on another bad day for the markets after an update from one of its partners in French Guiana caught the firm off guard.

Northern Petroleum said a joint well came up dry and unveiled plans for further exploratory drilling, prompting Tullow to say the release “was issued without prior notice and without the approval of the operator or the joint venture partners”. Shares in Tullow fell 9 per cent to 982.5p even as it claimed the basin should still prove productive, although Northern came off worse, sinking 18 per cent at 32p on the Alternative Investment Market.

The FTSE 100 continued its bad run of form, falling for the fourth straight session as the faltering global growth outlook depressed the miners and oil firms.

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Michael Hewson, senior analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Continued weakness in commodity prices have also kept investors wary with copper hitting its lowest levels this year, while oil prices remain weak.”

London’s top share index lost almost 1 per cent, down 60.37 points at 6,244.21. Fresnillo was off 87p at 1,074p and Polymetal International was 38p weaker at 706p. Oil services firm Petrofac slipped 62p at 1,278 and Scotland’s Weir Group, which supplies the mining and oil sectors, slid 78p at 2,136p.

There were some pockets of good news, with Burberry shares up 23p at 1,289p following a better-than-expected trading update from the fashion house. And fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown climbed 49p at 949p, topping the blue chip leaderboard after it reported a record level of assets under management, increasing by £4.7 billion in the first three months of 2013 to £35.1bn.

NEW YORK: Wall Street fell in a broad market sell-off last night, led by a sharp fall in Apple on worries about slowing demand while weaker-than-expected results from Bank of America pressured the financial sector.

The Dow Jones industrial 
average was down 138.19 points, or 0.94 per cent, to finish at 14,618.59 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed down 22.56 points, or 1.43 per cent, at 1,552.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended down 59.96 points, or 1.84 per cent, at 3,204.67.