Shares in companies doing business in Ukraine were once again dumped by investors as the UK’s main share index slumped towards its sixth consecutive day of losses.
Investor concerns about the impact of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine have waxed and waned over the past two weeks, but tension appears to be rising ahead of Sunday's controversial referendum in Crimea on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia.
China has also given markets plenty to worry about in the past five days. After the weekend’s weak exports data, concerns now centre on warnings from the Chinese premier that further defaults on financial products are ‘unavoidable’.
Stock markets across Asia, the US and Europe all fell. Britain’s FTSE 100 sagged 0.3% to 6,534, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.8% at 16,056.
The mid-cap index is home to several Ukraine and Russia-focused companies. Bank of Georgia (BGEO.L) dropped 7.3% to £21.99 while Evraz (EVRE.L), the steel making and mining company with operations in Russia and Ukraine, was off 4.8% to 53p.
Ferrexpo (FXPO.L), which mines iron ore in Ukraine, resisted the declines, instead rising 1.7% to 140p as its 2013 full-year results sparked a wave of analyst upgrades. ‘While we urge potential investors to keep an eye on events in Ukraine, so far Ferrexpo has not suffered any production or shipping disruptions,’ commented Westhouse analyst Nick Hatch on the stock as he maintained his ‘buy’ recommendation.
At the other end of the index Sainsbury (SBRY.L) recovered some of yesterday’s fall – triggered by poor 2013 results and a massive profits warning from Morrisons – rising 2.6% to 312p