FTSE indices had turned south by midday as resources stocks resumed their downward bent, bringing three days of intra-day gains to an end. Wall St closed down after the US Federal Open Market Committee voted to end quantitative easing, but the US dollar rose.
Near noon, the FTSE 100 was down 66.95 points, or 1.04%, to 6386.92. FTSE 250 fell 46.58 points, or 0.31%, to 15,187.6. Last night, US FOMC voted to cut its QE programme to zero from Nov. 1, but said its federal funds rate would remain lower for a considerable time thereafter.
Miners were notably lower as metals prices eased on the back of the stronger greenback. Lonmin (LMI) fell 3.34% to 173.4p and Randgold Resources (RRS) eased 3.27% to 3889.5p. Energy stocks slid, too. Tullow Oil (TLW) shed 3.39% to 477.25p, while BG Group (BG.) lost 2.66% to 1016.75p.
Barclays (BARC) fell 0.5% to 219.4p on unveiling Q3 adjusted pretax profits of £3.7m, but investors focused on an extra £670m being earmarked for potential fines from a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into rigging forex markets, and PPI mis-selling.
BT (BT.A) fell 3.09% to 363.9p despite above-forecast Q2 earnings. Investors eyed marketing and sports rights acquisition costs ahead. Meantime, Tesco (TSCO) fell 1.17% to 171.33p after yesterday's news the SFO is probing its accounting practices. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) slipped 1.7% to 2197.5p on news chairman Jorma Ollila is to step down, and despite robust Q3 numbers.
Kurdistan oil explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) rose 8.44% to 69.13p. Investors are taking a delay to today's planned trading update to 13 November as a sign the company may get paid for its crude oil exports from the Shaikan field.
Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has confirmed it is undertaking a marketing exercise with the aim of raising additional capital. The company issued the confirmation following recent online speculation about a potential fundraising. Its shares fell 10.54% to 11.63p.
Russian oil and gas play Urals Energy (UEN) advanced 18.75% to 4.75p on yesterday's news that CEO Alexei Maximov will step down Friday. Urals also said Leonid Dyachenko and Aleksey Ogarev intend to stand down as directors once replacements have been appointed.
German unemployment declined in October. The number of jobless people fell a seasonally adjusted 22,000 to 2.887m in October. A rise of 4000 was forecast. Germany's adjusted jobless rate remained flat at 6.7%.
Spain's gross domestic product grew 0.5% in Q3, after a rise of 0.6% in Q2. Meantime, Spain's flash consumer prices inflation fell 0.2% in October, from a decline of 0.3% in September.
Transport group National Express (NEX) added 3.38% to 243.15p after it said it was on track to meet profit expectations for the FY after a 15% increase in Q3 pretax profit.
Estate agency Countrywide (CWD) rose 1.25% to 456.35p as it revealed record FY results despite a slowing housing market. Q3 EBITDA improved 38% to £40.2m on the year.
Castleton Technology (CTP) has tapped investors for £5.5m to buy housing software supplier Documotive. Its shares rose 6.15% to 1.38p.
Care home and support provider CareTech (CTH) advanced 2.21% to 231p as the company confirmed trading would meet expectations this year.
Redde (REDD) gained 3.45% to 75p on a positive AGM statement. Profits in the three months to end-October have exceeded management expectations.