Markets: FTSE 100 down sharply as commodities slide

• FTSE 100 down 2.5% to 6,702
• Gold down 0.45% to $1,161.85/oz
• £/$ – 1.5070

The FTSE 100 took a big hit yesterday as energy and mining stocks followed the price of commodities down. The index closed down 2.5% at 6,702.

BG Group was the worst hit with a 7.4% fall. Tullow Oil lost 7%, Royal Dutch Shell fell 4.8% and BP was 4% lower. Among miners, Antofagasta slid 5.5% and Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Fresnillo lost between 5.5% and 4.2%.

In European markets, the Paris CAC 40 fell 1.1% to 4,881, and the German Xetra Dax lost 0.7% to 11,500.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.9% to 17,665, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite each fell 1.7% to 2,044 and 4,859 respectively 0.3%.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.3% to 18,723, and the broader Topix index added 0.1% to 1,525. And in China, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.2% to 3,290, and the CSI 300 added 0.1% to 3,524.

Brent spot was trading at $56.59 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $48.78. Spot gold was trading at $1,162 an ounce, silver was at $15.68 and platinum was at $1,128.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.5064 and against the euro at 1.4133. The dollar was trading at 0.9382 against the euro and 121.44 against the Japanese yen.

And today, Foxtons, the London-based estate agent, reported an 8.2% rise in profits for 2014. The company made a pre-tax profit of £42.1m in a year of “contrasting halves”, said its chief executive, Nic Budden, with strong sales in the first half and a downturn in the second.

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