Most volatile month for FTSE100 since 2012
Fri close: Britain’s index of leading shares showed their sharpest monthly drop for three years as fears over China’s slowdown gripped the market.
Buyers returned to mitigate the losses and the FTSE 100 was 55.91 points or 0.9% higher on the day at 6,247.94 in a volatile week that saw it plunge before staging its biggest one-day gain in years.
Over the month the index fell 6.7% its worst performance since May 2012, prompted by China’s surprise devaluation of its currency and slow response as markets around the world began to panic. The falls this month wiped out all the gains in the early part of the year and left the index in a loss so far.
Economic figures included new data from the Office for National Statistics confirming that gross domestic product expanded at a 0.7% quarter-on-quarter pace in the second quarter, as expected by the consensus, although a bout of destocking by firms offset a strong jump in exports.
Energy stocks were among the top gainers as oil prices staged a recovery. BG Group was up 3.4% and Royal Dutch Shell 2.5%.
Shares in Innovation Group surged after the software provider responded to press speculation by confirming that it is in advanced talks about a 40p-a-share takeover by US buyout firm Carlyle.
Debenhams was down by 7.1% after UBS cut its price target from 90p to 70p.