Business

Shares in Grenfell cladding maker sink

Arconic logo Image copyright Arconic

Shares in the company that made the cladding used on Grenfell Tower have fallen sharply in New York.

Arconic, formerly known as Alcoa, fell 6% to $24.01 after the firm said it would stop selling Reynobond PE cladding for use in high-rises.

A fire on 14 June killed dozens of residents of the west London tower.

Arconic said in a statement it was the "right decision because of the inconsistency of building codes across the world".

The US firm supplied Reynobond PE cladding for use in Grenfell despite publicly warning the panels were a fire risk for tall buildings.

While the extent of Arconic's responsibility remained unclear, investors were taking a "sell now and ask questions later" approach, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management in New York.

Wall Street had a lacklustre start to the week, with the Dow Jones closing just 0.1% higher at 21,409.5 points, while the wider S&P 500 index was almost flat at 2,439.07 points.

The technology-focused Nasdaq index suffered, shedding 0.4% to 6,247.1 points as Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook each shed 1%, and Google's owner, Alphabet, dropped 1.4%.

Avis Budget surged 14.2% following a deal to provide support and maintenance for Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet, for the self-driving cars it is testing on Arizona roads.

Hertz Global Holdings, another car rental company, rose 13.6% following reports it is testing self-driving technology under an agreement with Apple.

Retailers, including companies that fell after Amazon's deal to acquire Whole Foods, had a better day, with Wal-Mart up 0.9% and Target adding 1.4%.

Media shares also gained, with Disney up 1.2%, Twenty-First Century Fox 3.1% higher and Viacom adding 2.9%.

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