UK shares have fallen sharply in morning trading , FTSE 100 falls to two-year low amid share sell-off.
Both London and major European markets were down more than 2% as a sell-off that started in Asia gathered pace.dragging the FTSE 100 index to its lowest level since December 2016. Oil prices also sank, with Brent crude almost 5% lower at $58.60 a barrel. Analysts said the arrest of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada had revived worries over US-China trade tensions. By mid-morning, London’s 100-share index was down 2.6% at 6,744 points, while the Cac-40 in Paris and Frankfurt’s Dax were both 2.4% lower.
Worst-hit sectors included miners, oil companies, carmakers and tech stocks.Among the biggest fallers in London were mining firms Antofagasta, down 6.3%, and Glencore, which fell 5%.
On the FTSE 250, which also fell 2.6%, Thomas Cook gave up Wednesday’s gains to be 12% lower, while Premier Oil slipped 10.4%.
Meanwhile Asian stocks fell this morning on the news, with MSCI’s index of Asian shares excluding Japan down 2.22 per cent, Japan’s Nikkei 225 down 1.91 per cent, the Shanghai composite index down 1.68 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Sen down 2.68 per cent.’ The post-G20 trade truce is starting to feel like a distant memory, with Tariff Man Donald Trump, and now the arrest of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou, serving to undermine whatever (naive) hopes of progress had built up on Monday.
“Already worried about the economic effects of trade wars, investors are now concerned that this will move beyond the realms of tariffs and into much broader economic and diplomatic conflict, with dire implications for global economic growth.” The FTSE 100 index hit 6,930 in December 1999, just before the dot-com bubble burst and sent global stock markets crashing.