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Britain’s FTSE eases as commodities stocks weigh

Britain’s FTSE eases as commodities stocks weigh

LONDON: UK shares slipped on Tuesday as a fall in mining stocks overshadowed two opinion polls which pointed to the campaign for Britain to remain in the European Union regaining its lead in the run-up to Thursday’s referendum.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.2 percent at 6,189.30 points by 0828 GMT, having closed sharply higher on Monday.

Two opinion polls on Monday suggested support for Britain staying in the European Union had recovered some ground, though a third poll found support for a “Brexit” slightly ahead.

“(The) market’s got a little bit stretched in one direction in the fear trade and yesterday was it snapping back in impressive form, but still we don’t have the result so how far can you really take it when there’s still a distinct risk that we end up leaving the European Union?” Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets, said.

Mining stocks weighed on the FTSE 100, with Anglo American , Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Glencore all down between 1.3 percent to 2.7 percent, tracking the price of copper lower.

Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell also retreated 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent respectively as the price of oil fell for the first time in three days.

Shares in housebuilder Berkeley Group fell 1.8 percent after Canaccord Genuity cut its price target on the stock.

Among the gainers, however, hospitality Group Whitbread was the top riser, jumping 3.4 percent on the back of a well-received update which showed solid figures from its Costa Coffee outlets.

“Costa Coffee continues to provide the main stimulus behind Whitbread’s sales growth,” Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, said.

Outside of the blue chips, Circassia Pharmaceuticals rebounded 9.6 percent after slumping in the previous session.

Neil Woodford, the second-biggest shareholder in Circassia with almost 20 percent, said on Monday after the market closed that he backed the board of Circassia Pharmaceuticals following the failure of its cat allergy treatment.

Engingeering company Senior plunged over 13 percent after warning of lower revenue in the second half of this year at its Flexonics unit due to tough market conditions in the heavy truck and oil and gas sectors.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

Courtesy : BRecorder



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