Wednesday market close: Stocks rout continues on yuan move

Beijing’s decision to allow the Chinese currency to slide in value for a second session sent fresh shockwaves through the London market.
Picture: APPicture: AP
Picture: AP

Amid mounting concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, Glencore was the heaviest blue-chip faller, with shares in the miner sliding 10.8p or 5.7 per cent to finish the day at 180.2p.

The devaluation of the yuan will make life tougher for firms that export to China, and luxury goods group Burberry continued to suffer following the currency intervention in one of its major market. Its shares ended the session 54p or 3.5 per cent lower at 1,482p.

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These declines saw the FTSE 100 Index, which lost more than 71 points on Tuesday in response to the Chinese currency move, tumble 93.35 points to 6,571.19 – a drop of 1.4 per cent.

One bright spot in the gloom was precious metals miner Randgold, which jumped 214p or 5.4 per cent to 4,166p.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “There’s no doubt that gold is set to shine in light of the potential rout that’s facing stock markets across the world as traders hunt out safe havens. Given the woes facing other commodity stocks there could be some sector rebalancing in play here, but this is certainly one worth watching in the near term.”

Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty was also heading in the right direction, closing up 9.9p, or almost 4 per cent, at 261.6p as traders welcomed the lack of a fresh profit warning, despite losses widening sharply in the first half as the firm counted the cost of “problem” contracts.

Zoopla Property added 11.9p or 4.7 per cent to 266.2p after reporting strong visitor numbers for its websites and securing a commitment from founder Alex Chesterman to achieve “significant long-term growth”.