Europe’s leading financial markets slid into the red today as shares continued to reflect the delicate balance between economic optimism and Covid-19 caution.
The FTSE 100 shed 62.63 points, or 1%, at 6,207.10, while the French Cac 40 and German Dax indices were down 1.32% and 0.51% respectively.
Blue-chip stocks dragging the Footsie lower included turnaround specialist Melrose Industries, which fell more than 14% to 103.3p after it said it planned to axe jobs and would not pay an interim dividend, following second quarter losses.
Leisure Group Whitbread – owner of hotel chain Premier Inn – and luxury fashion house Burberry were both down more than 4%, to £22.67 and £13.70 respectively.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group was off 0.37% at 120.9p after it formally changed its name to NatWest Group. Shares will start trading under the new moniker tomorrow.
B&Q owner Kingfisher rocketed nearly 15% to £2.58 after it said first half profits would come in higher than last year, helped by shoppers splashing out on DIY products during lockdown.
Brent crude oil hovered just below $45 per barrel – up 0.5% at $44.17, as of 5.45pm.