UK shares continued to fall as trading began today, after shares had previously tumbled on the back of the IMF's bleak forecast for the UK economy had given investors the jitters.
The FTSE100 dropped 23.07 points (0.51%) within minutes to hit 4,168.80 as financial and mining stocks continued to drag the index down.
Mining giant Xstrata lost 3.56% with shares trading at 622.50p after it emerged that leading shareholders are threatening to vote against a £4.2bn rights issue. The heavily discounted issue will see shareholders offered two new shares priced at 210p for every existing share - a 66% reduction on Wednesday's share price.
Irish-based firm Tullow Oil suffered a 3 point drop (0.45%) after it emerged that its deal with the Government to kick-start its early oil production system was hit with delays as it waits for economic and risk assessment report regarding the project.
Rio Tinto was the highest climber after striking a surprise deal to sell assets in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay for $1.6bn in a move that will help the Anglo-Australian mining group achieve its target of reducing borrowings by $10bn in 2009. The firm's shares rose to 1,634p, an increase of 84 points (5.42%) in early trading.
Shares in 3I Group rose 2.98& after 3I Infrastructure said it had bought another £28m of junior debt since 1 October and was well placed to make more investments, boosting its share price to 216.25p.
Hammerson REIT also enjoyed an early jump as shares rose 17.25 points in early morning trading, boosting its value by 4.44%. Earlier in the week the firm had slipped to its lowest levels in nearly a decade after HSBC said real estate investment trusts would be forced to cut their dividends by up to a half.
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