Disturbing footage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the weekend and the former’s decision to put its nuclear forces on high alert has served to spook investors once again, with equity markets falling across Europe.
Weighing on the FTSE 100 was a 6.1% decline in BP, its biggest one-day fall since November 2021 and driven by the decision to exit its stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft.
“Expect a growing investor backlash against anything Russia-related, which explains why gold miner Polymetal has taken another beating, falling another 46%. Year to date the shares have now fallen by two thirds in value, putting the share price at levels not seen since 2015. Even worse was Sberbank whose London listed shares collapsed by 75%,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“Many investors are showing solidarity with the Ukraine and no longer believe it is morally right to have anything do with Russia in their portfolio.
“BAE Systems soared by 14% as investors flocked to the defence sector most likely in the belief that governments around the world would take another look at their defence budgets and increase spending. Fellow defence companies were also in demand, Chemring jumped 10% and Qinetiq was up nearly 9%, while French electrical systems group Thales advanced 13% given its position as a supplier to the defence sector.
“In the UK retail sector, McColl’s dived 57% after the convenience stores group outlined financial pressures, issued a profit warning, and said a takeover approach by an unnamed suitor had already collapsed. The market has been worried about the company’s finances for some time and it looks as if McColl’s is in a very fragile state.”
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