The FTSE 100 and mid-cap FTSE 250 indices slid for the third consecutive day on Thursday, with Standard Chartered (OTC: SCBFF ) spearheading the descent. The bank's shares plummeted by 12.8% following a 33% drop in Q3 pre-tax profit, marking the most significant fall on the FTSE 100. This downturn led to a broader banks index decline of 3.1%.
Other companies contributing to the market downturn included Unilever (LON: ULVR ) and WPP (LON: WPP ). Unilever reported a Q3 turnover decrease of 4% to €15.2 billion, largely attributed to poor ice cream sales since March 2017, causing its stock to dip by 3.1%. Despite meeting market expectations for Q3 sales growth, the company struggled to win back customers who opted for cheaper products, leading to a slip in the personal care, drug, and grocery stores index by 1.9%.
WPP, a global ad group, revised its full-year outlook downwards for the second consecutive quarter, resulting in a 4.4% fall in its shares. Industrial metal miners also experienced a minor setback with a dip of 0.3% due to a stronger dollar.
The economic outlook remains uncertain as investors await updates from the European Central Bank (ECB) and US GDP data release. The ECB is expected to pause interest rate hikes due to falling Eurozone inflation after last month's record 4% deposit rate hike. Meanwhile, the forthcoming US GDP data is anticipated to suggest that a recession is not imminent.
In other market news, The Restaurant Group (TRG) has caught investor attention over potential takeover rumors by Pizza Express owner, although no formal deal has been presented. Michael Hewson of CMC Markets (LON: CMCX ) noted the EU's Q3 economic contraction and unchanged October data ahead of the ECB decision.
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