Equities slide as war concerns grow

Equity markets got off to a positive start, but unconfirmed reports that objects were detected in the eastern Mediterranean weighed on sentiment.

The rumour that missiles were fired pushed the FTSE 100 below the 6500 level, demonstrating that a sell-off in equities is likely if war were to break out.

Turning our attention to confirmed news reports, the UK revealed a construction purchasing managers index of 59.1 in August, which is the highest reading since September 2007. Homebuilders are up on the back of this.

Overnight, Beijing announced a non-manufacturing purchasing managers index of 53.9 in August. This is a drop of 0.2 from the July report, but the sector is still expanding. Mineral extractors like Rio Tinto welcomed the news.

Vodafone, one of the largest companies on the FTSE 100, is down 3% after the firm stated it will return £54 billion to shareholders in the form of a dividend. Some traders feel that selling its stake in Verizon Wireless could result in a short-term gain but a long-term loss for the company.

Pub group Greene King said the good weather has helped sales over the summer months. However, the share price is a touch lower on the day.

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