The shouts on the streets of Hong Kong are being heard in Paternoster Square. As protesters took to the streets of the former colony’s business district to call for democracy, traders in London were hitting “sell” on companies that do business in Hong Kong. HSBC was the worst hit, with its shares falling 15.2p to 635p. The emerging markets specialist Standard Chartered ended 19p lower at 1,155.5p as both banks were forced to close their offices in Hong Kong.
The question analysts in London are asking is how will it end? “The key as to whether the protests have any lasting impact could be the response of from the mainland,” said Jasper Lawler, at CMC Markets. China, for now, is quiet.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed 2.79 points lower at 6,646.6. Supermarkets continued to be a sore spot. Tesco fell by 3.75p to 187.8p, while J Sainsbury was off 2.8p at 247.3p as Shore Capital warned that its trading update tomorrow could see forecasts cut. Marks & Spencer fell 6.3p to 415.4p as Freddie George at Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “sell” recommendation.
The troubled oil and gas explorer Afren, which was forced to suspend senior executives earlier this year over unauthorised payments, was 1.7p better off at 102p after Nigeria’s South Atlantic Petroleum upped its stake in the business to 3.14 per cent.
JKX Oil & Gas fell almost 30 per cent last week after warning that the doubling of a Ukrainian tax on gas profits would cost it $10m. But yesterday it rebounded by 3p to 47.5p amid news that it has been awarded a 20-year licence for the Elizavetovskoye field and completed the first phase of a facilities upgrade there.
Velocys, which specialises in converting gas to liquid fuel and is backed by the likes of Roman Abramovich, successfully raised £52m in an oversubscribed placing slightly above Friday’s closing price. Its shares were up 2.5p at 226.5p.
London Mining slumped by 14.5p to a record low of 9.51p after admitting that it does not have enough cash to keep going. The firm, which last week revealed a spat with Glencore over pre-payment, said it was in talks with a potential investor. Glencore’s shares fell 0.75p to 339.5p,Reuse content