LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) was down by 66 points to 5,458 points by mid-afternoon British Summer Time today as the ongoing uncertainty regarding the upcoming eurozone summit, coupled with apparent strategic clashes between France and Germany, applied the brakes to the markets.
But in addition to all that, we also have some companies capable of causing their own share-price crashes, regardless of what Europe is doing. Here are three of today's fallers.
Barclays (ISE: BARC.L) is in the news, as its shares fell 11%, to 174 pence. We have already heard of the 290 million pound fine levied against the high-street bank after an FSA investigation into claims that it, along with several others, manipulated its reporting of the interbank Libor rate.
And now we have Prime Minister David Cameron telling us that Barclays' management has serious questions to answer, with Chancellor George Osborne suggesting the affair might even go as far as criminal charges.
The fear of contagion appears to have spread, with Royal Bank of Scotland (ISE: RBS.L) falling 10% to 211 pence, though that will be partly a response to its recent technical failures at NatWest and other banks. But Lloyds Banking Group is down, too, falling 5% to 29.7 pence, while HSBC Holdings fell 3.5% to 553 pence.
A risky bet?
Ladbrokes (ISE: LAD.L) shares fell 12.3% to 152.4 pence on the day it held a capital markets update session for analysts and investors. In a pre-session release, Ladbrokes told us the forecast fall in digital profits would be larger than expected, due to a poor second-quarter sportsbook margin and technological delays.
First-half profits for 2012 are now expected to be only around half the sum seen in the first half of last year. The news-driven slump has put a serious damper on the nice rise the shares have enjoyed since the start of the year.
A struggling techie
Pursuit Dynamics (ISE: PDX.L) , which does such high-tech stuff that you'd have to read its website to understand, lost a further 10% today in a fall to 11.9 pence after a strategic update sounded like an attempt to salvage something from the firm's intellectual properly while it is still solvent and find investors to take things forward.
The firm made a pretax loss of 15 million pounds last year and apparently has just 6 million pounds left in the bank.
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