Investors pulled money out of shares throughout Thursday as the bad news amid the coronavirus crisis kept on rolling in.
A slew of company updates showed big losses from some firms as the effects of the pandemic become clear, with banking group Lloyds (LLOY) and oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) reporting particularly large losses.
Then the UK government announced it was increasing the isolation period for those with coronavirus symptoms from seven days to 10, before data from the US this afternoon showed the world’s biggest economy shrank a whopping 32.9% between April and June.
The fall marks the largest collapse in the US economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
All the main US indices opened in the red, and across the pond it was no different as the FTSE 100 continued its decline.
The UK’s benchmark index closed 2.31% lower, falling back below the 6,000 mark for the first time in a few months to close at 5,989.99.
Lloyds tumbled 7.62% to 26.2p on the news it swung to a loss in the first half of the year after setting aside £3.8 billion to protect against a potential wave of loan losses and warned the outlook remained highly uncertain.
For the six months ended 30 June, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £602 million compared with a profit of £2.9 billion year-on-year.
Shell dropped 5.72% to £11.13 despite actually reporting better than expected second quarter numbers on an adjusted basis. Analysts had still forecast a loss but the oil producer achieved positive earnings. However, on a reported basis the company recorded a $18.3 billion net loss.
BAE Systems (BA.) was buoyed 5.9% to 505p despite the defence company warning that earnings would be lower than last year after reporting a fall in profit in the first half of the year. Investors were perhaps more pleased that the company resumed its dividend payments.
Rentokil Initial (RTO) bounced 1.6% to 557.1p after it announced first-half revenue from disinfection services of £49 million and said ongoing revenue climbed 1% to £1.3 billion despite the crisis.
Anglo American (AAL) fell 4.57% to £18.83 as the mining giant more than halved its interim dividend after reporting a slump in profit as coronavirus-led disruptions hurt production.
Mining group Evraz (EVR) lost 3.7% to 288.7p as it warned of uncertainty around production and sales owing to turmoil in the oil and gas markets.
RSA Insurance (RSA) headed 4.2% lower to 420p despite the group achieving a first-half record for underwriting performance which saw growth in profits of 33%. Statutory results at the insurer were hit by coronavirus financial market impacts.
Man Group (EMG) dipped 2.1% to 122.95p after it reported a fall in first-half funds under management as negative investment performance and net fund outflows weighed on results.
For the six months ended 30 June, pre-tax profit halved to $55 million on-year as funds under management fell 8% to $108.3 billion from 31 December.