FTSE on course for worst week since early October

The FTSE 100 is set to kick off December with its worst week for two months, as investors in London’s top flight were given another kicking.

The blue chip index fell another 50.65 points, bringing its total losses to nearly 209 since trading stopped on Friday, a 2.8% drop.

Thursday’s losses reached 0.7%, bringing the index to 7,138.

It sets the index up for its worst five days since the first week of October, as trade worries continued to bite. Traders are still watching for clues on how trade talks between the US and China will end.

“Some traders are optimistic that some sort of a phase one trade deal will be sorted out within two weeks, while others are still fearful Mr Trump could talk about pushing back any trade deal until the 2020 presidential election is over – like he did earlier this week,” said David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets.

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The pound gained 0.4% against the dollar to 1.3162, against the euro it hit 1.186, a 0.29 rise.

In company news, investigators have opened a bribery probe into British mining giant Glencore, a year after the US government demanded it handed over documents in a corruption case.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said it is “investigating suspicions of bribery in the conduct of business by the Glencore group of companies, its officials, employees, agents and associated persons”.

Problems with Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 engines are costing an “eye-watering” amount of money, the firm’s boss has admitted.

Chief executive Warren East said tackling the issues will cost the engineering giant around half a billion pounds this year.

Shares in Aston Martin have rocketed after reports billionaire Lawrence Stroll is mulling a major investment in the luxury car maker.

Aston Martin shares jumped more than 17% after Autocar magazine reported that the Canadian owner of Formula One team Racing Point was preparing to bid for a stake in the troubled company.

Homeware and furnishings retailer Dunelm has said it expects to beat original profit forecasts for the year as it cheered the launch of its new digital platform.

The retailer said the move to a new website did not impact its sales performance, allowing it to maintain strong online sales.

International oil standard Brent crude rose 0.76% to 62.46 dollars per barrel as reports emerged that Saudi state oil company Saudi Aramco has raised 25.6 billion dollars in the world’s biggest ever initial share offering.

The offering has raised more than all of this year’s 117 initial public offerings on the Nasdaq exchange in New York combined. Nasdaq has been the world’s most active exchange by value in 2019.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were NMC Healthcare, up 160p to 2,595.00p, Fresnillo, up 17.8p to 563.20p, Burberry, up 62p to 2,050.00p, BT, up 4.36p to 190.74p, Morrison, up 4.2p to 197.00p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Glencore, down 21.45p to 216.90p, DS Smith, down 27.1p to 351.80p, Evraz, down 15.8p to 341.40p, Tui, down 41.7p to 969.80p, and Smurfit Kappa, down 94p to 2,606.00p.