London Stock Exchange
London's main benchmark edged lower following sharp annual losses posted by lender HSBC Leon Neal/ AFP

Sharp annual losses posted by HSBC saw blue chip shares edge lower in afternoon trading. Europe's largest bank said its profit slumped by 62% in a year that it was buffeted by "significant and largely unexpected economic and political events".

It posted an annual pre-tax profit of $7.1bn (£5.7bn, €6.7bn), far lower than the $18.9bn (€17.8bn, £15bn) it reported a year ago.

The FTSE 100 Index slipped three points to 7296.8, after HSBC and other heavyweight banking stocks such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland fell.

HSBC attributed its lower profit down to a string of one-off charges, including the sale of its operations in Brazil, a $3.2bn impairment of goodwill to its private banking unit in Europe and adverse fair value movements credit spread, which cost it $1.8bn.HSBC was the biggest faller in the top flight falling more than 6%, or 47.3p to 665p. Barclays was 1.5p lower at 235.8p and Royal Bank of Scotland 3.1p down at 255.8p.

Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell said: "Investors' reactions to HSBC's full year results only intensified as the day went on, Britain's biggest bank seeing its losses expand to 6.6% following news of a 62% slide in annual profit.

"That leaves the company at its worst price since 6 January, effectively wiping out the decent amount of growth the bank had managed to post since 2017 began."

The biggest afternoon risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Vodafone Group (+5.3p to 203.8p), BP (+11.1p to 456.3p), Rolls-Royce (+17.5p to 725.5p), Capita (+10p to 524p) and Sage Group (+10.5p to 645p).

The biggest afternoon fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were HSBC (-47.3p to 665p), Mediclinic International (-43.5p to 758.5p), Hargreaves Lansdown (-36p to 1327p), Randgold Resources (-140p to 7310p) and Fresnillo (-23p to 1507p).

The biggest afternoon risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Essentra (+21.1p to 505p), WH Smith (+56p to 1681p), Tullow Oil (+9.1p to 278.1p), Henderson Group (+6p to 230.1p) and Vectura Group (+3.2p to 145.2p).

The biggest afternoon fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were Wood Group (-63p to 755p), AO World (-6.4p to 153.6p), Redefine International (-1.2p to 36.2p), OneSavings Bank (-11.1p to 387.6p) and Aldermore Group (-5.8p to 230p).