Market Report: Glencore falls to record low as the prices of copper and iron ore crash


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The Independent Online

The effects of the Chinese stock market collapse have finally reached our shores.

The commodities giant Glencore fell 17p to a record low of 230.6p, wiping £2.2bn off its market value, as the prices of copper and iron ore, two of the big industrial metals, came crashing down.

They have slumped on fears about demand  from China, the world’s biggest consumer of base metals, whose economic slowdown appears to be picking up pace.

The leading Chinese share index, the Shanghai Composite, has lost almost 30 per cent of its value in just over three weeks.

The fall in the prices of industrial metals also hit Anglo American, down 50.9p at 832.3p.

Trading was tentative before the eurozone summit on the Greek debt crisis but the fall in commodities took their toll on the FTSE 100, which fell 103.47 points to 6,432.21.

The price of Brent crude oil futures dropped to a three-month low of $57 a barrel, hurting sector heavyweights Shell, down 39p to 1,761.5p, and BP, down 10.95p to 418.5p.

However, EasyJet, up 14p at 1,590p, and British Airways’ owner IAG, up 3.8p at 488p, benefited from the prospect of cheaper fuel.

The downtrodden oil services sector was left licking its wounds again as the French heavyweight Technip, one of the North Sea’s biggest employers, said it would axe 6,000 jobs and take a €650m (£461m) restructuring charge to cope with lower oil and gas prices.

The bleak outlook took the shine off the FTSE 100’s own Weir Group, down 84p to 1,582p, which splashed out £30m on the US valve maker Delta Industrial Valves.

Like most in the sector, Weir has taken a pummelling over the past year, tanking 42 per cent.

Technip’s doom and gloom also weighed on the FTSE 250 oil services groups. Wood Group fell 43.5p to 589.5p, Petrofac tumbled 60p to 831p, while Amec Foster Wheeler dropped 32p to 778p.

Elsewhere, S&U jumped 94p to 2,375p after agreeing to sell Loansathome4u, its home credit business, for £82.5m to let it focus on Advantage, its fast-growing motor finance arm.