FTSE 100: 6,366.51 -50.65 (0.79%)
Nervy markets worry over Greece and growth
The ongoing concerns about Greece exiting the eurozone and disappointing economic data at home left bears in control of the London trading floors.
“The Greek situation hasn’t gone away and it will hang over the market for the foreseeable future,” said analyst David Madden from IG. “The election in Greece could be the beginning of the end of the eurozone and traders are scurrying to the safe-havens of gold and government bonds.”
Figures showed that service-sector growth in the UK slowed more than expected last month with the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) falling from 58.6 to 55.8. As such, the composite PMI declined from 57.6 to 55.2.
Oil was experiencing yet more selling pressure on Tuesday morning, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures falling further below the $50-a-barrel (bbl) mark, a level not seen since April 2009.
Investors were feeling nervous ahead of numbers out this week, including eurozone inflation and the US non-farm payrolls report.
Among today’s stocks oil and gas stocks were again under pressure as prices dropped, with Nostrum Oil & Gas, Shell and Ophir Energy falling sharply.
Supermarket peers Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons were all trading lower ahead of their Christmas trading updates due out over the next few days. Sainsbury’s is first out of the traps on Wednesday morning and may fire the starting gun a new price war with Tesco which reports with Morrisons on Thursday.