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LONDON: Commodity stocks and banks led a near 2% drop in London’s FTSE 100 on Monday as fears of a global economic slowdown sapped sentiment at the start of a week loaded with corporate earnings.

After falling as much as 2.4%, the blue-chip index pared some losses to close down 1.9% at its lowest in more than five weeks.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index ended down 1.4% after hitting its lowest level since March 16.

Oil majors BP and Shell lost 6.2% and 5.2%, respectively, and the industrial mining sub-index sank 5.6% on worries that prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns in China would weigh on demand for metals and crude oil.

Broadly, traders ditched riskier assets as relief over Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election quickly gave way to renewed concerns about rising global interest rates and China’s spluttering economy.

Banks dropped 3.2%, with Asia-focused lenders HSBC Holdings and Standard Chartered slipping ahead of their results this week.

“Having spent most of the last few weeks trying to put to one side concerns about events in eastern Europe, a slowdown in China, and the increasing risks of what inflation might do to company earnings, as well as consumer incomes, the final straw appears to be a concern about the prospect of a policy mistake by central banks, and a possible recession by the end of the year,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK said in a note.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Friday the central bank could deal with the fast rise in inflation without damaging the economy, but the path was a narrow one.

McColl’s Retail Group slumped 53.1% as the British convenience store chain forecast tepid annual core profit after a weaker-than-expected Easter performance, dented by lower consumer spending and supply chain disruptions.

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