With around half-an-hour of trading to go in London, the FTSE100 index was almost 20 points lower at 7,282, the day’s worst levels, well below an earlier peak of 7,310.
FTSE 100 shares ended lower on Thursday as mixed Wall Street compounded losses related to ex-dividend stocks and poor earnings in the utilities sector.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 ended down 0.4% at 7271. Top fallers were Easyjet (LON:EZJ) down 6.1% at 914.5p, Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) down 5.3% at 3418p, and HSBC (LON:HSBA) down 4% at 652.8p after trading began without the right to their latest dividend.
But the first meaty fall was the fourth-placed decliner, Centrica (LON:CAN), down 3.7% at 225.1p following its latest earnings results. The group reported a 4% rise in annual profits, but its British Gas domestic business saw profits fall 11%.