FTSE 100 settles for a triple-digit fall

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Yesterday’s optimism has dissipated today after the European Commission forecast thought times for the economies of European countries

  • FTSE 100 index sheds 101 points
  • Aura Energy virtually doubles as it finds a partner to develop in Mauretanian assets
  • soars ahead of ASX delisting tomorrow

4.00pm: Triple-digit fall for the Footsie

The FTSE 100 shows every appearance of having settled for a hundred point loss in the afternoon session.

The index of London’s leading shares has barely budged from around the 6,185 level for the last two hours; it is currently down 101 points (1.6%) at 6,185.

The top performer was tiddler Aura Energy Limited (), which shot up 94% to 0.35p after it signed a C$4.5mln funding term sheet for the creation of a joint venture vehicle with TSX-listed for Aura’s gold, base and battery metal tenements in Mauritania.

Global Petroleum Limited () was also up 94%, at 1.55p, ahead of its delisting from the Australian Stock Exchange tomorrow at the close of business.

3.00pm: NASDAQ defies the trend

As expected, US indices opened lower albeit not as severely as expected.

The Dow Jones was down 195 points (0.7%) at 26,089 and the S&P 500 was off 10 points (0.3%) at 3,169.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite, which marches to the beat of a different drum, was 10 points (0.1%) higher at 10,443.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 100 points (1.6%) at 6,186.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 was faring a bit better, down 169 points (1.0%) at 17,381, helped by a positive reaction to the trading update from contracts for difference trading platform operator, ().

Plus500’s share rose 3.2% to 1,377.5p after the company also announced that interim chief executive officer David Zruia can now drop the “interim” bit from his job title.

While Plus500 was the FTSE 250’s best performer, legacy software giant (LONMCRO) was the worst after its interims sent the shares tumbling 16% to 367.5p.

Power generator Drax PLC (LON:DRAW) and engineering group Group PLC () both fell 5.9% on changes to the shareholders’ registers.

Jupiter Asset Management revealed its stake in Babcock has fallen below 5% from 5.37% previously while its stake in Drax has risen above the 5% threshold to 5.02%.

1.30pm: US indices to retreat

US shares are set to give up a substantial proportion of yesterday’s gains following gloomy economic forecasts for Europe and perturbing news stateside on coronavirus cases.

Spread betting quotes indicate the Dow Jones industrial average will open at around 26,063, down 224 points. The S&P 500 is seen starting at around 3,158, down 22 points.

The European Commission (EC) has lowered its forecasts for the performance of the economy in Europe. The EC now expects the eurozone’s economy to contract by 8.7% in 2020 before bouncing back somewhat by 6.1% in 2021.

“Already fearful of the COVID-19 situation in the US and Australia – Melbourne has just been put in a six-week lockdown – the European Commission’s…



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