In the City three Es are dominating the agenda – Ebola, Europe and earnings.
Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets, summed it up best, saying: “Disappointing German industrial production data and an Ebola case in Spain put markets on the back foot ahead of the beginning of US third-quarter earnings season.”
The FTSE 100 fell by 68.07 points to 6,495.58 despite deal rumours igniting the mining sector.
The tourism and travel industry weighed heavily on the index, amid fears of a travel ban to stem the spread of Ebola.
British Airways-owner IAG slipped 25.7p to 345.6p, EasyJet fell 78p to 1389p, cruise operator Carnival lost 167p to 2328p, Tui Travel slid 15.3p to 382p and Ryanair was off €0.37 at €7.12.
Tesco was an unlikely bright spot, enjoying a “dead-cat bounce” amid rumours that private-equity firm TPG could be sniffing about its Clubcard unit. The supermarket added 5.85p to 182.6p.
On the mid-cap index, Cairn Energy enjoyed some rare good news as it struck oil off the coast of Senegal. The explorer said it has uncovered up to 2.5 billion barrels worth of black gold. Analysts urged caution, stressing it’s too early to say how much of that could be recovered. Cairn added 3.6p to 183.5p.
Telecoms network-testing group Spirent Communications collapsed 21.55p to 77.1p after a profit warning. The company blamed a near 20 per cent downgrade on a slowdown in business in the US and China. Merger activity in both markets and companies delaying spend on new technology has hit business.
Shower and bathroom-supplies specialist Norcros jumped 1.12p to 16p after revealing a strong performance at its South African subsidiary. Second-quarter revenue climbed by 15.1 per cent, while a strike at its Johnson Tiles factory has recently ended.
Online video-advertising specialist Blinkx received a welcome boost from City financier Richard Griffiths, founder of Evolution Securities and Ora Capital Partners. Mr Griffiths has raised his stake in Blinkx from 3.5 per cent to 4.62 per cent. Blinkx, up 1.75p at 32.75p, collapsed last week after a profit warning.Reuse content