Sector movers: Miners and oil producers in the red
With the pound and oil prices both sinking there were various sectors given a leg up, while currency swings were meanwhile putting the kibosh on the mining sector.
Miners was dented as the dollar got a boost from a hawkish Federal Reserve policy statement overnight. A stronger dollar tends to dent greenback-denominated commodities as it makes them more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Oil producers were also in the red as crude prices extended the recent sell-off, with Brent crude was down 1.4% to $69.65 per barrel.
"Oil has entered a grizzly bear market as the effect of Iran sanctions become better understood; critically it seems the impact on supply is far less than feared, in no small part to waivers," said analyst Neil Wilson at Markets.com, noting that crude prices are down around 20% from their October peaks.
Broker SP Angel added: "Oil’s set for its longest stretch of declines on record after entering a bear market, with investors awaiting a weekend meeting of OPEC and its allies to discuss output strategy."
The lower oil price was seen as good news for airlines, with easyJet and IAG both flying higher.
With a higher dollar, the lower pound was perhaps behind the rise of the beverages sector and food producers.
The tobacco sector was divided, with British American Tobacco stubbed out but Imperial Brands smoking hot following a Washington Post report that the US Food and Drug Administration is planning to announce a ban on the sale of most pod-based e-cigarettes as part of an effort to curb sales to minors.
The FDA is expected to impose "severe restrictions on the sale of most e-cigarettes products" throughout the United States, with Commissioner Scott Gottlieb expected to announce a ban on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations across the country, the newspaper reported, citing senior agency officials.
Top performing sectors so far today
Beverages 21,902.18 +1.50%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities 5,119.01 +1.32%
Leisure Goods 7,981.36 +1.11%
Insurance (non-life) 3,128.09 +0.77%
Food Producers & Processors 7,622.50 +0.75%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Forestry & Paper 19,706.25 -3.95%
Industrial Metals & Mining 5,157.51 -3.94%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 13,498.14 -3.85%
Mining 17,091.87 -3.63%
General Industrials 5,605.66 -3.03%