After being a heavy faller early on, Lonmin's losses had eased somewhat by the afternoon. The platinum miner hit the headlines this morning after riot police shot dead dozens of its workforce at the Marikana project in South Africa, as a week of protests over pay have turned the group's mine into a war zone. It is thought that around 35 people have now been killed since violent clashes erupted a week ago.
While trade unions have blamed Lonmin for the trouble, saying that their negotiations with employees outside of union structures had started the protests, the firm's Chairman Roger Phillimore said last night that this "is clearly a public order rather than labour relations associated matter."
Meanwhile, electrical components maker Laird jumped after UBS upgraded the stock from 'neutral' to 'buy', saying that the upcoming launch of Apple's iPhone 5 should drive growth in the second half.
Casino and online gaming group Rank also advanced after saying that revenues in the 12 months to June 30th rose 3.4%, while pre-tax profits jumped 9.0%.
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
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