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Miners and oil stocks drag down FTSE as crude slumps

Miners slump to bottom of index while oil stocks suffer as Saudi Arabia quashes hopes of production cuts.

 
Miners and oil stocks drag down FTSE as crude slumps

Miners have dragged the FTSE 100 lower, with BHP Billiton enduring a second day of heavy falls after slashing its dividend yesterday.

The UK blue-chip index fell 95 points, or 1.6%, to 5,869, with miners rooted to the bottom of the index, nursing big losses. Fallers included:

  • Glencore (GLEN) -8.5% at 118.4p;
  • BHP Billiton (BLT) -8.1% at 686.9p;
  • Anglo American (AAL) -7.5% at 419.3p;
  • Antofagasta (ANTO) -5.1% at 471.5p;
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) -4.3% at £19.02.

Among smaller stocks, BlackRock World Mining (BRWM ) was a big faller, down 4.2% to 185.6p.

Oil stocks were also hit, as the price of Brent crude suffered another slide, down 2.4% at $32.48, after Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al-Naimi ruled out production cuts. Shell (RDSb) fell 3.1% to £15.23 while BP (BP) dropped 3% to 335.1p.

'Equity markets nursing losses this morning, backtracking from valiant attempts to deliver breakouts,' said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets. 'The driver? I'm afraid it's oil again, and markets are also coming round to the fact that there is a distinct absence of good news doing the rounds to keep the major indices up around recent highs.'

Standard Chartered (STAN) also endured a second successive day of big losses, down 4.3% at 389.5p and down more than 10% since revealing a 84% fall in profits last year. A host of analysts have cut their forecasts on the bank following yesterday's results.

Burberry (BRBY) fell 4.7% to £11.76, as the luxury sector came under pressure following a poorly received update from Hugo Boss (BOSSn.DE).

House builders were among the few stocks to make gains. Persimmon (PSN) continued to rise, up 2% at £20.69 after revealing an enhanced capital return plan for shareholders yesterday, while Barratt Developments (BDEV) was up 1.3% at 569p after reporting a strong first half.

International Personal Finance (IPF) tumbled 16% to 222.5p, the biggest falling 'mid cap' in the FTSE 250 index after the chief executive repeated a warning that regulatory changes in Poland and Slovakia would hurt profits from this year. Profits for 2015, however, squeezed above expections helped by progression in its digital unit and in Mexico.

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