The FTSE 100 slipped in early trading on Thursday as China’s Evergrande crisis reared its ugly head again.
The heavily indebted property developer failed to complete a key asset sale to leave it teetering amid fears of wider contagion from a potential collapse of the business.
“This hit stocks with Chinese exposure, most notably the mining sector. China is the world’s biggest consumer of many metals and minerals,” says AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson.
“Rising Covid-19 cases in the UK were also affecting sentiment amid fears measures might need to be brought in over the winter to control the spread of the virus.
“Bitcoin is back in gravity-defying mode – hitting a new record high amid the launch of exchange-traded funds in the US, set up to track the cryptocurrency.
“The question is whether bitcoin can make these gains stick after falling sharply from a previous peak earlier in the year.”