LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 ended lower on Tuesday, dragged down by stocks of heavyweight oil companies and cigarette makers, while Associated British Foods slipped after a downbeat first-half earnings update.
The blue-chip index dropped 2%, the highest single day fall since Feb. 26, with tobacco firms British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands declining 7.6% and 7.3%, respectively, after a report said the United States was considering a rule to cut nicotine in all cigarettes sold in the country to levels at which they are no longer addictive.
Shares of AB Foods fell 5.9% after it posted a 50% drop in first-half profit, hurt by COVID-19 lockdowns that shuttered its Primark fashion stores.
The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index fell 1.72%, with Elementis reversing early gains to end 1% lower after it rejected a 160-pence per share takeover approach from the US chemicals firm Innospec Inc.
The FTSE 100 index has gained 6.2% so far this year, but has underperformed its European peers during the period as a recent rise in Treasury yields and a jump in coronavirus infections across the globe weighed on sentiment. Among other stocks, cyber security company Avast jumped 1.3% after upbeat first-quarter trading update.