LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Slips As Miners Sag, But Deal Lifts Reckitt Benckiser Shares

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatchFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

BHP's copper outlook at low end of guidance

U.K. stocks edged lower Wednesday, with mining shares acting as a drag on the blue-chip benchmark, but Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC advanced after striking a deal to sell its food business.

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The FTSE 100 index was down 0.1% at 7,381.70, giving up a gain of 0.3% at the open of the session. Basic material and industrial shares were among sectors in the red, while consumer-related shares rose. The London benchmark on Tuesday finished down by 0.2% ( after a choppy session.

Topping the index on Wednesday was Reckitt Benckiser (RB.LN) as its shares tacked on 1.4%. The consumer product maker reached a deal to sell its food division for $4.2 billion ( to spice seller McCormick & Co. (MKC) .

Shares of rival consumer product heavyweight Unilever PLC (ULVR.LN) were up 0.1%.

McCormick plans to integrate the RB Foods business -- which includes French's mustard and Frank's RedHot hot sauce -- into its commercial and industrial segments.

Miners down: Mining shares, meanwhile, declined alongside a drop in dollar-denominated prices for metals including gold and platinum . The dollar was up 0.2% early Wednesday. Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS.LN) fell 1.2%, and copper producer Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN) shed 0.6%.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BLT.LN) was down 1.1% after the company said it expects copper production to rise by 25%-35% this year, the lower end of revised guidance ( The miner said its output has been held back, in part by a strike at the Escondida mine in Chile.

Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) slipped 0.1%. On Tuesday, the company lowered its export guidance for iron ore (

The pound bought $1.3039, not far from $1.3041 late Tuesday in New York. Sterling on Tuesday hit an intraday high of $1.3199 as the dollar slid. A stronger pound can put pressure shares of multinational companies that have a heavy weighting on the FTSE 100.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 19, 2017 04:02 ET (08:02 GMT)