FTSE tumbles as investors' nerves show ahead of key summits

Mon, 8th Apr 2013

The leading share index in the UK took a dip on Wednesday as markets took a cautious approach ahead of the key central bank meetings due both in the UK and in Europe. By the close of the midweek session, the FTSE 100 was lower by 1.08 per cent reaching 6420.

Crucial monetary policy meetings due to take place on Thursday sent some investors running for shelter, playing it safe ahead of the latest announcements due on economic policy. Experts have predicted little change but the press conference with ECB resident Mario Draghi is seen as key in assessing whether a move in policy is likely in the near future.

However, disappointing figures from across the Atlantic also played their part with non-manufacturing figures from the Institute of Supply Management coming in well below expectations and lower than the six month average.

Closer to home, industry received a much-needed lift after estimates on the price of oil suggested a sharp fall in the overall cost, with the average price of a barrel dropping to just $112 compared to $125 in 2012.

Standard Life were the biggest fallers amongst the bluechips, tumbling by a hefty 6.45 per cent as the final day for collecting the generous 2012 dividend payout passed. Several of its peers in the banking sector also performed poorly, most notably Royal Bank of Scotland who fell by 4.44 per cent after it was hit with a second lawsuit by a group of disgruntled shareholders relating to a 2008 statement over rights issues.

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