London’s listed gold miners retreated as the price of the yellow metal sank to its lowest level in a week.
Fresnillo, Centamin and Hochschild Mining were among the FTSE 350’s steepest fallers as gold slipped as low as $1,490 an ounce.
The slide was prompted by gains in the value of the US dollar, which is hovering at two-year highs against the euro and making gains against most other currencies.
London listed gold miners Fresnillo, Centamin and Hochschild Mining were among the FTSE 350’s steepest fallers as gold slipped as low as $1,490 an ounce
The currency is, analysts say, becoming something of a safe haven asset amid a resilient domestic US economy, rising political tensions in the Middle East and worries over the US-China trade spat.
Markets were also shrugging off concerns about an attempt by Democrats to impeach President Trump following leaked information of an allegedly shady telephone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine.
But a stronger dollar makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy precious metals, so where the greenback made gains, gold miners sensitive to commodity market swings lost out.
Fresnillo fell 3.7 per cent, or 27.2p, to 703p by the close, while its blue-chip peer Polymetal International shed 2.5 per cent, or 29.5p, to 1148p.
And mid-cap Hochschild Mining fell 4.7 per cent, or 10.2p, to 208.6p, as Centamin slid 3.2 per cent, or 4.1p, to 124.95p.
Stock Watch – Mediazest
Mediazest could have a hearty pipeline of work after a surge in business enquiries.
The firm, which makes interactive touchscreens and moving wall displays for shops, will complete two big projects by the end of the year in a boost to profits.
And after a difficult first half for retail, things have picked up and it has finished or is working on projects for Lululemon, Tiffany & Co, Ted Baker and Hyundai.
Shares rose as much as 40 per cent early on, but in a rollercoaster day, closed flat at 0.07p.
The drag from gold miners failed to make a dent in the FTSE 100 or FTSE 250. The Footsie closed 1 per cent higher, up 75.13 points, to 7426.21, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 edged up 0.8 per cent, or 152.34 points, to 19970.95.
While gold miners were hit by swings in global markets, former punters’ favourite Sirius Minerals was plagued with problems much closer to home.
Sirius is down 86pc so far this year following multiple bumps in the road in its efforts to secure financing for the sprawling fertiliser mine it is trying to build under the North York Moors.
After failing to seal a funding deal it is now reviewing its options and has enough to cash to last until next March. Its shares plunged by 21.7pc, or 0.81p, to 2.91p, after Citigroup sold a small portion of its stock.
Cigarette maker Imperial Brands, education publisher Pearson and cruise operator Carnival all closed in the red, losing even more steam after putting out profit warnings on Thursday.
Imperial fell 1.3 per cent, or 23.6p, to 1774.6p, while Pearson shed 0.8 per cent, or 5.6p, to 734.4p and Carnival slid 0.7 per cent, or 22p, to 3367p.
But British Airways-owner IAG (up 2.9 per cent, or 13.2p, to 474.2p) and train station cafe owner SSP Group (up 4.6 per cent, or 28p, to 636p) managed to rebound after also warning on their performance a day earlier.
Imperial boss Alison Cooper used the sell-off to snap up nearly £200,000 worth of stock, buying 11,194 shares for 1773.3p each.
Stockbroker Numis blamed a revenue warning on the political turmoil that fuelled choppy summer stock markets.
It expects a ‘mid to high teens’ percentage decline in revenues and a profit fall in the 12 months to September 30 compared to the previous year, sending shares 3.9 per cent, or 9.5p, lower, to 232p.
Prudential closed higher after the insurer and its peer Rothesay Life launched an appeal against a decision last month by the High Court to block a deal between the two groups.
The Pru was trying to transfer £12billion worth of pension products to Rothesay, but the judge ruled Rothesay didn’t compare with Prudential in age, reputation or financial stability and blocked the transaction.
The Pru advanced 2.2 per cent, or 31.5p, to 1473p by the close.
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