Aggreko ran out of power yesterday as investors blew a fuse following a tie-up between two of the temporary power supplier's major competitors.
Charging down 63p to 1,682p, the group was left near the foot of the top-tier index after its biggest rival APR Energy signed a five-year collaboration deal with the US giant Caterpillar and its dealer Ring Power.
The agreement focuses on developing generators for emerging markets, a particular area of growth for Aggreko. Calling the announcement "noteworthy" for the company, Peel Hunt's Andrew Nussey added that previously "Aggreko has benefited from the more 'fragmented' nature of its competitors and Caterpillar in particular".
Numis Securities' Mike Murphy, meanwhile, said the news gave APR "added credibility in the market place", while Caterpillar "gets access to a growth segment which had been out of its reach".
APR – which began trading earlier in the month after being reversed into the investment vehicle of Pizza Express co-founder Hugh Osmond – pushed up 50p to 1,125p, with Mr Murphy praising the deal as a "major development which should help support its high growth ambitions".
The approval by the German parliament of a larger eurozone bailout fund, plus US GDP for the second-quarter being revised upwards to 1.3 per cent, failed to stop the FTSE 100 closing 20.79 points behind at 5,196.84 in a volatile session.
Nonetheless, the banks managed to avoid heavy losses, with Lloyds Banking Group creeping down just 0.36p to 36.49p. Meanwhile, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland edged forwards 2.75p to 169.15p and 0.4p to 24.5p respectively, while Standard Chartered charged up 36p to 1,358p despite UBS cutting its forecasts for the year by 4 per cent.
Rumours that manufacturing data from China for September, set to be released tomorrow, were likely to disappoint swept trading desks in the City, hurting the miners as a result. Kazakhmys retreated 6.5p to 834p even as Citigroup raised its advice to "buy", with the broker saying it was still "bullish on copper prices".
Elsewhere in the sector, the end of its governance review – announced late on Wednesday – could not prevent ENRC creeping down 3p to 576.5p after the Kazakh company revealed its chairman and chief executive were keeping their jobs.
Even bid talk did not revive the miner, despite Liberum Capital saying it remained "a likely merger and acquisition candidate" and that "a possible business combination [with Glencore, down 13.75p to 409.25p] remains compelling".
Fears over the growth prospects for China also meant Burberry was out of fashion. Falling in tandem with its global peers, the upmarket brand was left with the wooden spoon after jumping down 8.25 per cent, or 108p, to 1,201p.
With Wolseley getting over a third of its turnover from the United States, the positive GDP figures from the country – as well as better-than-expected home sales data – resulted in the plumbing and heating group taking the gold medal position. The Build Center owner powered up 99p to 1,601p ahead of the release of its final results next week.
Despite shedding nearly 25 per cent on Wednesday after revealing clients had withdrawn $2.6bn over the past three months, Man Group was still being knocked, dropping 4p to 176p. A number of analysts were choosing to stick the boot in, with Royal Bank of Scotland's scribblers downgrading their advice for the world's largest listed hedge fund to "hold", saying the update revealed "how volatile the operating environment is for asset managers".
EasyJet was pegged back 1.6p to 353.4p on the FTSE 250 after JP Morgan gave the budget airline an "underweight" rating and warned investors the sector was facing "unprecedented times".
The broker claimed the current combination of high fuel prices plus economic gloom for consumers had not been seen by the airlines since the 1970s, although it did say first and business class traffic would outperform. As a result, it started its coverage on British Airways-owner International Airlines Group with an "overweight" recommendation, prompting the blue-chip company to fly up 5.9p to 159.7p.
Back on the mid-tier index, Thomas Cook was the top performer after announcing its full-year profit would meet expectations. Investors helped it shift up 2.09p to 39p despite the embattled tour operator scrapping its dividend, with Numis raising its rating to "hold" from "reduce".
Down on the Alternative Investment Market, San Leon dipped 1.75p to 15.25p following the energy explorer's announcement it had plugged a wellin Poland, although Fox Davies said the retreat had resulted in a buying opportunity.