UK stocks sank sharply on Friday as heightened geopolitical concerns dampened investors' appetite for risk assets. The FTSE 100 completes a weak week, dropping 36.64 points to 6,560.52, having closed on Thursday at a four-month low of 6,597.37.
That market malaise dampens enthusiasm for travel and leisure group TUI Travel (TT.), which dips 4.3p, or 1.2%, to 351.5p despite strong year-on-year profits growth in the third quarter. The company flags robust summer bookings demand despite bookings declines in the UK, Germany and the Nordic region.
A positive trading update showing progress across all metrics is not enough to prevent shares in housebuilder Bellway (BWY) falling 1.15% to £14.61. The housebuilder reports strong progress in volume growth, selling prices and forward sales.
Construction consultant Hyder Consulting (HYC) rallies more than 8% to 700.5p with investors excited by a potential bidding war emerging for the group. Under pressure Hyder has recommended a 680p per share cash deal from Japanese engineering consultant Nippon Koei, trumping the previous offer made by ARCADIS, but the market is hoping for a quick response from the Dutch group.
Oil explorer Afren (AFR) faces further turmoil as it withdraws all inessential personnel from its Barda Rash oil field in Kurdistan, northern Iraq. ISIS militants have begun to make inroads into the semi-autonomous region and Afren's move prompts a 5.5% fall to 94p. Two directors were suspended last week after revelation into unauthorised payments made by the mid cap oil firm.
Small cap unconventional oil and gas play Rose Petroleum (ROSE:AIM) gains 6.4% to 3.35p as it appoints a new head of its US operations. Including the company's flagship shale asset in Utah, John Blair was senior vice president at a consultancy firm which assessed more than 150 shale assets worldwide for a variety of blue chip clients.