LONDON: Britain’s top share index resumed its recent downtrend on Wednesday, with miners coming under pressure on weaker metals prices and Standard Chartered leading the banking sector lower.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.3 percent at 6,268.51 points by 0824 GMT. The index rose 0.4 percent on Tuesday after losses in the previous three sessions.
The UK mining index fell 0.7 percent on worries over demand in top consumer China, with shares in both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto falling 1.4 percent.
Banking shares were generally down, led by Standard Chartered. Shares in the Asia-focused bank fell 3.3 percent following a negative broker report after its stock rallied 10 percent in the previous session, when the bank reported a rebound in first quarter profits.
Deutsche Bank lowered its rating on Standard Chartered to “sell” from “hold” and cut its target price for the stock to 454 pence from 460 pence, saying that Tuesday’s share rally was not justified by the revenue outlook and forecast returns in 2018.
Barclays rose 2.3 percent despite a slump in profits, with some traders pointing to a relatively strong performance at the bank’s UK division as helping the shares.
“Investors are perhaps hopeful that things are on the up from the group, with better returns on the horizon via a revamped investment banking division the one that made it such a success in years gone by,” Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said.
The market showed little initial reaction to data showing Britain’s economy slowed in the first three months of the year and again leaned on the services sector for growth. First-quarter gross domestic product grew by 0.4 percent, in line with economists’ forecasts.
Payments processor Worldpay rose 2.5 percent, the top gainer in the FTSE 100 index, after UBS raised its rating on the stock to “buy” from “neutral”, saying that its significant exposure to online transactions and investments in new value-added services would help it outgrow peers.
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder