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02 Oct 2019 | 16:42

FTSE records biggest drop in three years

The FTSE 100 slumped dramatically on Wednesday as worries over manufacturing slowdowns, Brexit negotiations, more US tariffs and fears about a looming global recession weighed on investors.

US and European markets were also down markedly, with a World Trade Organization ruling to allow the US to impose tariffs on $7.5bn of goods imported from the EU providing the trigger for an afternoon selloff.

The UK's benchmark index closed a staggering 237.78 points, or 3.23%, down at 7,122.54, its biggest rate of decline since the start of 2016.


Metro Bank soared 26.7% to 228p after a successful £350m bond launch at a coupon of 9.5%. This follows its failed attempt last week to launch the bond at a lower coupon rate. There was also market talk that the company could be subject to a takeover bid.

The rise in the retail bank's share price comes after a morning dip following the resignation of founder Vernon Hill.

Gambling company Flutter Entertainment, which used to be called Paddy Power Betfair, rose 7% to £81.66 after it announced a merger with Poker Stars-owner The Star Group.

Flutter shareholders would end up with 54.64% of the merged group, with The Star Group owning the rest.

Supermarket chain Tesco rose 0.2% to 240p, even as it announced the shock departure of chief executive David Lewis next summer.

Tesco also booked a better-than-expected rise in underlying first-half profit and said Lewis would be replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance chief operating officer Ken Murphy.

Security and defence contractor QinetiQ jumped 5.5% to 307p on announcing that it had agreed to acquire advanced sensing solutions provider for warfare Manufacturing Techniques for up to $125m.

Builders merchanting group Grafton fell 2.2% to 755p as it completed the sale of plumbing unit Plumbase to Plumbing and Heating Investments for £66.8m, including debt.

Budget carrier Ryanair descended 3.6% to €10.38 as it posted 8% passenger growth during the month of September.

Rival low-cost airline Wizz Air shed 2.2% to £35.61 even as it carried 20% more passengers in September, having added new routes to Poland, Hungary and Romania.

Hochschild Mining dropped 2.4% to 199p on news that it had acquired a rare earth deposit in Chile.


Flooring retailer Topps Tiles slipped 7% to 64.2p on warning that it expected to post a small fall in annual revenue, after a more challenging economic backdrop hurt sales in the fourth quarter.

Fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power gained 4.3% to 217p after it doubled full year revenue and managed to narrow its pre-tax losses, having announced major licensing deals and a commercial product launch.

Banknote authentication Spectra Systems gained 0.15% to 130.2p after it bagged a new five-year service contract for a G7 country's central bank with a minimum value of $0.4m.

Online wine retailer Naked Wines softened 2.56% to 247.5p as it sold its Lay & Wheeler and Vinotheque units to Coterie for £11.3m.

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