Weaker commodity stocks push FTSE lower
Britain’s top share index slipped, with energy and mining sectors falling the most on U.S. economic growth concerns and after prices of key commodities dropped.
U.S. industrial production fell for a fifth straight month in April while a sharp drop in American consumer sentiment in early May also darkened the mood.
“The market believes that there is more to worry about given that recent U.S. data is continuing to miss expectations. Growth concerns are particularly hurting cyclical sectors such as energy and mining,” said James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts.
The British mining index fell 1.2 percent, the top sectoral decliner, as prices of copper and most other industrial metals fell on a firmer dollar. Shares in Anglo American, Glencore and Fresnillo were down 1.2 to 1.8 percent.
The oil and gas index fell 1.1 percent after crude oil prices dropped on reports that a growing supply glut was boosting inventories worldwide.
Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.2 percent weaker at 6,960.49 points after rising to 7,009.41 in early trading. It was down 1.2 percent over the week.
SABMiller, up 0.7 percent, outperformed the market after saying it would acquire British craft beer firm Meantime Brewing Company, giving the maker of big name brands such as Peroni and Grolsh exposure to the fastest-growing part of the British beer market.
“The variety of styles added to SAB’s extensive local and heritage beer menu should serve it well, while its experience will help with Meantime’s strategic goal of making beer attractive to a wider clientele,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.
“While acting as a predator today, SAB remains prey in terms of sector consolidation, which is keeping the shares close to all-time highs.”
Among other sharp movers, ITV rose 1.8 percent, with JP Morgan, Barclays and Bernstein all raising their target prices for shares in the British broadcaster.
“We continue to see ITV as a well-managed company that executes their business plan very well,” analysts at Barclays said in a note.