FTSE 100 Falls From 2016 High As Oil Rally Stalls

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.K. stocks dropped for the first time in three days on Wednesday, with a renewed selloff in oil prices driving a downbeat trading mood. The FTSE 100 index slid 0.5% to 6,376.91, easing back from the highest closing level since Dec. 2 reached on Tuesday. Oil prices were a key driver for the trading action in London on Wednesday, hitting sentiment as WTI and Brent slumped more than 2.5%. Shares of BP PLC shaved off 0.9% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC lost 0.8%. Miners, on the other hand, were among biggest gainers on Wednesday after industry giant BHP Billiton PLC cut its iron-ore production target for the year. On Tuesday, peer mining major Rio Tinto PLC also downgraded its expectations for iron-ore production after reporting a sharp fall in shipments in the first quarter. Less supply in the market is seen as a bullish signal for metals prices and could help the sector shake off years of oversupply and low prices. Shares of BHP climbed 1.6%, while Rio Tinto gained 2.4%. ARM Holdings PLC put on 3.7% after the chip designer said profit rose 7.6% in the first quarter. At 9:30 a.m. London time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time, attention turns to unemployment and wage data for the U.K.

Continue Reading Below

Copyright © 2016 MarketWatch, Inc.