By Emily Horton
London markets fell on Wednesday, as Brexit uncertainty returned and U.S. President Donald Trump poured cold water over U.S.-China trade truce hopes.
Key decliners included banks, insurers, oil producers and miners, with the index as a whole dropping back beneath the bellwether 7,000 level.
How are the markets performing?
The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.23% dropped 1% to 6,946.06 from a 0.5% drop late Tuesday evening.
The British pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0440% firmed up to $1.2770 from $1.2720 late Tuesday.
What is driving stocks?
Pro-E.U. politicians voted to take more control of the Brexit process, on Tuesday evening, if Prime Minister Theresa May loses the vote on her E.U. withdrawal agreement on Dec. 11.
Earlier on Tuesday, pro- the European Court of Justice’s most senior adviser published a legal opinion that the U.K. could reverse Brexit without first seeking permission of European Union’s remaining 27 member states.
European stocks were under pressure after Tuesday’s market meltdown on Wall Street. Investors were spooked by a flattening yield curve and the validity of the U.S.-China trade truce agreed at the weekend.
U.S. markets are closed on Wednesday, to mark a national day of mourning after the death of former President George H.W. Bush.
What other stocks are active?
Financial services stocks were weak, with HSBC Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/208272822/composite HSBC -0.86% down 2%, Direct Line Insurance PLC /zigman2/quotes/201952264/delayed UK:DLG -0.31% down by 0.6%. Hargreaves Lansdown PLC dropped by over 3%.
Oil prices dropped ahead of this week’s OPEC meeting, with BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP +0.02% down 1.6% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A -0.17% down 2%.
Heavy-weight mining stocks also fell, with Evraz PLC /zigman2/quotes/207171136/composite EVR -0.07% down 2%.