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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a745322

FTSE dips on US slump despite manufacturing boost

by Daniel Grote on Apr 08, 2014 at 11:23

Escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine have also taken their toll on sentiment, after pro-Russian demonstrators seized government buildings in three Ukrainian cities and rebels declared independence in the Donetsk region, calling for a referendum in May.

‘Markets again are on edge as this fresh escalation of the crisis could see further turbulence in financial markets and more worrying, this crisis is now becoming a protracted affair which stands to further dent the West’s relations with Russia to the point where the damage could be irreparable for some time,’ said Ishaq Siddiqi, analyst at ETX Capital.

Sports Direct (SPD.L) was the biggest faller, shedding 61p, or 6.8%, to 832.5p after founder Mike Ashley sold around £200 million of his shares to Goldman Sachs. The disposal of 25 million shares represents around 7% of Ashley’s stake, taking his holding to around 55%.

Associated British Foods (ABF.L) slid 88p, or 3.2% lower at 265.5p, with some traders attributing the drop to a profit warning by German sugar producer Suedzucker, according to Reuters.

Insurers endured further losses after yesterday’s sell-off, as their recovery following the damage inflicted by Budget changes and a regulatory review of pensions sales was dealt a further setback. Resolution (RSL.L) was the worst hit, dropping 12.8p, or 4.4%, to 275p. Prudential (PRU.L) shed 25p, or 1.9%, to £12.93, Standard Life (SL.L) fell 5.4p, or 1.4%, to 387.4p, Legal & General (LGEN.L) dropped 3.5p, or 1.6%, to 212.9p and Aviva (AV.L) traded 5.6p, or 1.1% lower, at 485.5p.

Miners bucked the trend of losses, with Rio Tinto (RIO.L) and Fresnillo (FRES.L) up 1% and 0.7% at £33.64 and 900p respectively. Randgold (RRS.L) rose 24p, or 0.5%, to £46.99 while Antofagasta (ANTO.L) added 3p, or 0.4%, to trade at 854.5p.

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