Provident leads financial stocks lower as FTSE closes down

Market trader (file picture) Image copyright Getty Images

The FTSE 100 lost ground for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.

At the close, the benchmark index of blue-chip stocks was down 24.92 points, or 0.33%, at 7,447.79.

Financial services, insurance and banking stocks were hit hard, dragged down by heavy losses from UK sub-prime lender Provident Financial.

Provident ended the day 17.5% lower after a profit warning, saying disruption from a shake-up at its home credit division would hit profits.

Investment management firm Hargreaves Lansdown fell by 2.4%, while St James's Place dropped 1.8% and Standard Life lost 1.5%.

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn and the Costa coffee chain, was the biggest riser, up 3.4% at 3984p after reporting strong like-for-like sales for the first quarter.

The FTSE 250 was also down, losing 89.10 points or 0.45% to finish at 19,682.61.

On the currency markets, the pound was up 0.21% against the dollar at $1.2656.

The pound also gained against the euro, up 0.17% to 1.1360 euros.