Stock market rout resumes, with shares in companies with rich valuations hit as investors take flight

New York (Apr 11)  Stock market rout resumes, with shares in companies with rich valuations hit as investors take fright.

After a brief respite on Wednesday and Thursday, the market rout has resumed and London is following US markets lower, with shares in companies with rich valuations once again bearing the brunt of the sell-off. Technology stocks such as Arm Holdings, off 4.8pc, have been hit, as well as the homebuilders and airlines, which have all rallied strongly over the past year. The FTSE 100 is currently down 1.3pc at 6,556, and the mid-cap FTSE 250 has tumbled 1.6pc.

There are only FTSE 100 three shares in positive territory. Supermarket groups Wm Morrison, up 1.2pc, and J Sainsbury, 0.2pc higher, have both rallied. The shares were hit in recent weeks by worries about the supermarket price war and have benefited from investor bargain-hunting.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo, up 0.1pc, is the other riser, helped by its status as a proxy for safe-haven gold and silver.

The heaviest faller in the FTSE 100 is retail broker Hargreaves Lansdown, which has slumped 5.9pc after analysts at Morgan Stanley slashed their target price to £14.95, from £16.70. The broker has flagged concerns about the impact of pricing pressure and weaker net interest income on Hargreaves’ profits.

Lower down the scale, temporary power provider APR Energy, off 4.2pc, has been hit by news that its biggest shareholder, SSP Energy, is selling-down part of its stake. Goldman Sachs is running the deal, which could see as many as 5.6m shares offloaded. SSP currently has an 11.8pc stake, or some 11.1m shares.