Interest rates held as gold and copper prices plummet
Source - SMW
The Bank of England kept interest rates on hold, but the smaller majority in favour of the decision was surprising as three members of the committee supported a rate rise, with five against the move.
Weaker gold and copper prices acted as a headwind on the FTSE 100 as they dragged on the mining sector.
Gold slumped 1.5% to $1,253 per ounce and copper declined 0.5% to $5,643 per tonne.
Randgold Resources (RRS) and Fresnillo (FRES) headed south by 4.9% to £71 and 7.2% to £15.58, respectively.
Ex-dividend stocks also played a role in the decline, including Persimmon (PSN) and Severn Trent (SVT), which fell 2.3% and 1.2% respectively.
The FTSE closed 0.7% lower at 7,419.
Brent crude oil retreated 0.2$ to $46.90 per barrel.
A profit warning at DFS Furniture (DFS) wiped off a fifth of its value to 200p. The company warned that full year earnings were likely to be below market forecasts as weakness in its trading intensified.
The shocking news had a negative read across to retail stocks and prompted a sell-off in its rival SCS (SCS) and mid-cap curtains retailer Dunelm (DNLM) which fell by approximately 8% and 6%, respectively.
FTSE 250 member AO World (AO.), which sells big ticket items including fridges and washing machines, also fell by 3.5% to 124.4p.
In the US, investors were concerned about the pace of economic growth, which affected sentiment towards miners and retailer stocks.
The tech-sell off reared its ugly head again as the market worried about overly optimistic valuations. The Nasdaq index opened down 1% at 6,133.
FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS
Within the self-storage industry Safestore (SAFE) revealed its closing occupancy fell from 70.9% to 69.8% in the six months to 30 April 2017. Investors overlooked a boost in pre-tax profit and the dividend as the stock suffered a 5.4% drop to 430p.
The company behind big brands such as Imperial Leather and St Tropez, PZ Cussons (PZC) reported decent trading in an upbeat update, although the stock remained flat at 341.3p.
Engineer WS Atkins (ATK) reported a lower operating profit margin and a 13.5% fall in operating cash flow, but the stock remained resilient at £20.73.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Wireless solutions developer Starcom (STAR) sealed a three-year supply and support deal with Philippines-based Shiptek Solutions. The agreement was for the supply of Starcom's container tracking system, causing the share price to soar 46% to 2.1p.
In the pharma sector, Angle (AGL) was a clear winner following a weak share price run in 2017. Researchers said the cancer diagnostic firm's Parsortix system found a rare cell in a blood of prostate cancer patients.
Angle discovered the number of these cells in the blood was correlated with higher patient survival, marking the first time the cells were connected with cancer prognosis. The breakthrough sparked a 14.6% rally in the shares to 72.7p.