LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Pulls Back From 2-month High As Miners Lose Ground

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Holiday Inn parent ICH slides on revenue concerns

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U.K. stocks eased back from a two-month high Tuesday, as mining shares fell after disappointing Chinese economic data.

At the same time, shares of Holiday Inn parent InterContinental Hotels Group and Standard Life PLC struggled after earnings reports.

The FTSE 100 index shed 0.1% to 7,524.57, led by the basic materials and consumer goods groups. On Monday, the London benchmark closed 0.3% higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-hovers-at-6-week-high-bolstered-by-mining-stocks-2017-08-07) and logged its strongest finish since June 2.

Miners down: Mining stocks were under pressure Tuesday after the release of Chinese trade data (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-export-growth-slows-but-up-for-5th-month-2017-08-08), which showed July exports and imports grew at a slower pace than in recent months. The readings were lower than expected.

"On the import side, the slowdown appears to have been driven by fewer imports of industrial commodities. Softer import volumes, rather than lower prices, are mostly to blame," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics who covers China, in a note.

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"This hints at a possible slowdown in domestic demand last month," he said. China is a major buyer of both industrial and precious metals.

Shares of iron ore producers BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) fell 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) lost 0.5%, while copper miner Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) moved down 1.2%.

Mining stocks on Monday rose, keying off a rally in iron ore prices.

Store sales: Retail shares were mixed after the British Retail Consortium said U.K. retail sales in July slowed from a year ago. Sales rose 0.9%, compared with 1.1% a year earlier.

Next PLC (NXT.LN) shares were off 0.3%, but Marks & Spencer Group PLC (MKS.LN) clung to a 0.1% gain, and DIY retailer Kingfisher PLC (KGF.LN) picked up 0.2%

Stock movers: Meanwhile, shares of Standard Life PLC (SL.LN) lost 1.4% after the financial services company posted a 14% decline in first-half pretax profit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/standard-life-profit-drops-14-hikes-dividend-2017-08-08), hurt by a fall in revenue and investment returns. Standard Life did raise its interim dividend to 7 pence a share.

InterContinental Hotels shares (IHG) (IHG) slid 3.9% on concerns about slower room-revenue growth. First-half pretax profit rose 9.4% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/intercontinental-hotels-profit-raises-dividend-2017-08-08), and the company, whose brands include Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, raised its interim dividend by 10%.

The pound on Tuesday bought $1.3045, little changed from $1.3036 late Monday in New York.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 08, 2017 04:09 ET (08:09 GMT)