Headlines from Russia and Ukraine dominated trading, with shares opening lower across Europe after the US announced more sanctions on Russia companies.
BP, which has a 19.75 per cent stake in the oil giant Rosneft, one of the state-controlled companies affected, fell 9.8p to 496.8p.
By the close, news that a Malaysian passenger plane had crashed in an area in eastern Ukraine contested by pro-Russian rebels and government forces caused greater concern in the City. The FTSE 100 finished the day down 46.35 points at 6,738.32. Brenda Kelly, an analyst at the spreadbetter IG, said: “The news of a Malaysian airliner crashing near the Russian border clearly had a major impact.”
During the day, deal activity kept investors interested, with John Malone’s cable group Liberty Global buying a 6.4 per cent stake in ITV from BSkyB. The deal gave rise to hopes of a full takeover bid and ITV rose 11.3p to 195.1p.
But rumours of bid activity in engineer Meggitt subsided and the aerospace engineer fell 9.5p to 546.5p.
Analysts at Société Générale engaged in fantasy M&A for the beer giant SABMiller and wondered whether the Peroni brewer planned to fend off a bid from AB InBev with a plan to merge. SocGen ruled out the spirits giant Diageo but wondered if SAB might try to buy the French drinks group Castel. SAB lifted 34p to 3,340p.
Cake maker Finsbury Food’s cost-cutting programme, marketing campaign and investment in innovations looked to have paid off as it announced better than expected profits and investors gobbled up shares. It rose 5p to 59.5p.
Strong first-half numbers from Breedon Aggregates helped it ahead 0.75p to 39.5p.
AO World, at its maiden annual general meeting, said sales growth was up 30 per cent in the quarter but the online retailer fell 14.9p to 229p, well below its 285p February float price.
The upmarket interior design business Colefax and Fowler recorded a 38 per cent rise in profits to £4.3m. But it warned that the strength of sterling would “have an adverse impact on profitability”, and the shares fell 22.5p to 350p.