FTSE 100 hit the skids on worries over US interest rates, the Delta variant, China and a huge ex-dividend markdown from miner Anglo-American. The blue-chip index opened down 138 points or 1.9% at 7,030.
Oil shares were also under the cosh as crude prices fell for a sixth straight day. Brent fell more than 2% to $66.61 a barrel.
Covid-19 vaccine supplier AstraZeneca's Pascal Soriot was the UK’s highest paid FTSE 100 executive in 2020, earning more than £15.4mln according to the High Pay Centre. Average pay among FTSE 100 CEOs was £2.69mln in 2020.
Rank Group (LSE:RNK) PLC (LSE:RNK) said all of its bingo and casino venues are now trading positively and performing ahead of expectations following the easing of lockdown restrictions. The recovery follows a tough year for the group, which saw underlying net gaming revenue halve to £288mln.
Among the small caps, Sensyne Health PLC (AIM:SENS, FRA:DSH) (LON: SENS) has signed a strategic research agreement with a US healthcare group giving it access to “de-identified” data from its 3.6mln patients. The latest tie-up is with Sentara Healthcare, which covers Virginia and north-eastern North Carolina.
Adriatic Metals PLC (LSE:ADT1, ASX:ADT, FRA:3FNA, OTCQX:ADMLF) (LSE:ADT1)’s Vares silver project in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has been valued at US$1.06bn in a final definitive feasibility study. Construction costs have come down, but the big gain is in the substantial fall in sustaining costs.
Capital Ltd (LSE:CAPD) has reported the strongest half-year in its history with revenues up by 52% and operating profits more than doubling as gold drilling activity continues to increase. The interim dividend goes up by a third.