Monthly construction figures on deck
U.K. stocks fell Tuesday as energy producers and miners lost ground, while shares in supermarket chain J Sainsbury PLC gained after an upbeat sales update.
The FTSE 100 declined 0.5% to 7,340.42. All sectors were in the red, led by shares of resource producers.
Trading volume is expected be lower than usual as the U.S. marks the Independence Day holiday. On Monday, the London index snapped a four-session losing streak (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-on-track-to-break-4-day-losing-streak-as-oil-rallies-2017-07-03) by settling up 0.9% as oil prices rallied.
See:July 4th: Which markets are closed? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/july-4th-which-markets-are-closed-2017-06-30)
Energy slip: On Tuesday, shares of oil producer BP PLC (BP.LN) (BP.LN) shed 0.5%, while rival Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) (RDSB.LN) lost 0.5%. Crude oil prices were trading slightly lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-gains-aiming-for-eight-winning-sessions-in-a-row-2017-07-03) after settling higher for eight sessions in a row. A loss Tuesday would break the longest winning run for West Texas Intermediate crude in more than seven years.
"Energy [and] metals prices (especially copper and iron ore, and safe-haven gold) have turned back from their recent highs on account of a [dollar] bounce," said Accendo Markets analysts in a note.
The ICE Dollar Index was down 0.1% at 96.17, slipping from gains made Monday.
Miners mainly lower: In the mining group, shares of Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) dropped 1.2%, Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) gave up 1.2%, and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) shed 0.9%.
Headed in the other direction, precious metals producer Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN) moved up 1.3% as gold prices rose.
The gains for gold, a traditional safe haven trade, came as North Korea said it had successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-korea-claims-successful-test-firing-of-an-icbm-2017-07-04), which dropped into seas near Japan. Gold added 0.4% to $1,224.60 an ounce. The yen also benefited from the geopolitical uncertainty, with the dollar buying Yen113.07, compared with Yen113.38 late Monday in New York.
Supermarket sweep: J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) rose 0.4% after the supermarket chain said first-quarter same-store sales grew 2.3% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sainsbury-sales-rise-cost-savings-on-track-2017-07-04) and that its cost saving plan remains on track. But Sainsbury shares were paring back from session highs.
Rival supermarket chain Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) was up 0.2%, and Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC (MRW.LN) was fractionally higher.
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sainsbury-sales-rise-cost-savings-on-track-2017-07-04)Economic docket: A reading on U.K. construction activity for June is due at 9:30 a.m. London time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The pound moved higher to $1.2955, compared with $1.2941 late Monday in New York.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 04, 2017 04:14 ET (08:14 GMT)