Whitbread shares knocked down on cautious consumer view
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U.K. blue-chip stocks on Tuesday clung to small gains after a 2% jump in the previous session, but the rise was limited as mining stocks including Anglo American PLC were hurt after ratings downgrades.
The FTSE 100 trudged up 0.2% to 7,275.35 after opening lower. All but the consumer services and basic materials sector moved higher.
The index on Monday climbed 2.1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-leaps-as-markets-take-heart-from-french-election-result-2017-04-24), the largest percentage rise since September, as part of a global rally in equities after centrist Emmanuel Macron's first-round win in France's presidential election prevented two euroskeptics from entering the final runoff. The FTSE 100 did turn positive for 2017 again on Monday.
Miners: But on Tuesday, shares of miners fell following ratings downgrades by Goldman Sachs of Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) , Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) and BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) .
Antofagasta and BHP Billiton shares were down 2% and 1.1%, respectively. Those companies were downgraded to sell from neutral. (BLT.LN)Anglo American's rating was pulled down to neutral from buy. Its shares were off 1.9%.
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Among other movers in the group, Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS.LN) (RRS.LN) declined 1.1%, Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) gave up 0.6% and Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN) shed 0.9%. But Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) switched up 0.1%.
Meanwhile, Whitbread PLC shares (WTB.LN) dropped 5.9%, on track for their worst session since the Brexit vote in June 2016. The parent company of Costa Coffee and the Premier Inn hotel chains said it foresees a "tougher consumer environment than last year," (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whitbread-lifts-dividend-as-full-year-profit-rises-2017-04-25) even as its businesses have had a good start for the year.
Whitbread raised its dividend during the fiscal 2017 year, and said fiscal-year pretax profit rose 5.7% to GBP515.4 million.
The cautious tone comes after last week's data showing British retail sales in March dropped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-retail-sales-fall-sharply-in-march-2017-04-21)by a more-than-expected 1.8% month-over-month, and rose by less than expected year-over-year.
Among advancers, Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (HIK.LN) (HIK.LN) rose 1.5% to top the FTSE 100. British Gas parent Centrica PLC (CNA.LN) rose 1.1%. Its shares fell 3.5% on Monday after the Conservative government said it plans to cap energy prices if it expands its parliamentary majority in the June general election.
The pound was buying $1.2809 ahead of data on U.K. government borrowing at 9:30 a.m. London time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Sterling bought $1.2797 late Monday in New York.
See:4 things investors need to know about France's presidential runoff (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/4-things-investors-need-to-know-about-frances-presidential-runoff-2017-04-23)
And read:Watch for shift from Le Pen--analysts on what's next in French election (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/watch-for-shift-from-le-pen-analysts-on-whats-next-in-french-election-2017-04-24)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 25, 2017 04:21 ET (08:21 GMT)