LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Veers Toward Second Straight Loss, With Miners Under Pressure

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

EasyJet upgraded

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U.K. stocks dropped Wednesday, with mining shares leading broad-based losses that could pull London's blue-chips market to a second straight losing session.

What markets are doing: The FTSE 100 index fell 0.4% to 7,300.03, as the basic material, tech and industrial groups led all sectors lower. On Tuesday, the index shed 0.2% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-lifted-by-rising-supermarket-stocks-weaker-pound-2017-12-05) for its fourth loss in five sessions.

The pound bought $1.3438, little changed from $1.3442 late Tuesday in New York. Against the euro, sterling bought EUR1.1339, also little changed from Tuesday when the pound bought EUR1.1367.

What's moving markets: Stocks trading in London and across Europe followed in the footsteps of losses Tuesday on Wall Street (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-looks-on-track-for-another-record-while-nasdaq-appears-set-to-fall-again-2017-12-05), where the S&P 500 Index fell for a third straight session, suffering its longest losing streak since August. Weakness spilled over to Asian markets. Overall in global markets, technology stocks have been under pressure as investors had been rotating into banks and retail shares as Washington hammers out plans to cut taxes.

Also, mining stocks have been knocked down in the wake of recent losses for copper prices on worries over rising inventories and the potential for slowing demand from China, which makes up about half of global consumption for the industrial metal.

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Stock movers: Copper prices were moving higher Wednesday following Tuesday's slide of 4.7% on the Comex market, according to FactSet data. Still, London-listed mining stocks were losing ground. Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) and Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) each fell 1.2%, Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) gave up 1.4% and BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) moved down 1.3%.

Hammerson PLC (HMSO.LN) fell 3.5%, at the bottom of the FTSE 100, after the retail property developer said Wednesday it's buying shopping center owner Intu Properties (INTU.LN) for GBP3.4 billion ($4.6 billion). Intu shares rallied 18%.

EasyJet PLC (EZJ.LN) was up 1.4%, with a ratings upgrade to overweight from underweight at J.P. Morgan Cazenove. The discount airline said it'll roll out German domestic routes from Berlin next month, according to media reports.

Off the FTSE 100, shares of Saga PLC (SAGA.LN) dropped 21% after the travel and insurance company warned that it expects its underlying profit growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/saga-profit-lagging-on-monarch-collapse-headwinds-2017-12-06) for its current financial year to be behind the previous year. It cited more challenging insurance broking conditions and disruption to its tour operations as reasons for the outlook.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 06, 2017 04:09 ET (09:09 GMT)