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10 Mar 2021 | 10:59

London midday: Stocks in the red as miners weigh

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were still a little weaker by midday on Wednesday amid worries about inflation, with miners under the cosh.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 6,709.04.

Investors were digesting data out of China which showed that the producer price inflation rate rose to 1.7% in February from 0.3% the month before, hitting its highest reading since November 2018.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "While yesterday's Nasdaq rally was a positive development it came against a backdrop of a drop in US 10-year yields. If it can continue to move higher in the face of higher rates then the rally might be more convincing, however the higher inflation narrative isn't likely to subside any time soon, which means any sustained Nasdaq rally could well be vulnerable to setbacks.

"This morning's sharp rise in Chinese PPI for February to 1.7% could well be another leading indicator for a rise in inflationary pressures in the coming weeks, along with this afternoon's US CPI numbers."

In equity markets, miners were under the cosh, with BHP, Rio, Anglo American and Glencore all weaker.

IG market analyst Joshua Mahony said: "The FTSE 100 overreliance upon mining names is providing a particular drag today, with fears over a withdrawal in Chinese stimulus driving base metal prices lower. Much of the 2020 gains for the likes of copper, iron ore, and nickel have been driven by Chinese activity, yet we are starting to see traders question exactly where we stand once those industrial production numbers start to normalise."

Legal & General dipped after it reported flat annual operating profits as it set aside an extra £110m in Covid-19 insurance claims due to the emergence of new virus strains.

Shares of broadcaster ITV were under pressure a day after its full-year results. Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson speculated that it could be to do with the departure of outspoken Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.

"Are they down because of this event or just amid his departure? Investors may be a little worried about the loss of ratings for GMB - it wasn't exactly doing that well before he joined and its primetime slot will have repercussions for ads," he said.

"Love or loathe, Morgan boosted ratings. It could also be that investors are worried about an investigation over comments made by Morgan on air. Shares were hit yesterday after it revealed the way in which lockdowns have hit ad revenues, but indicated things are picking up and Studios can drive new growth. DB today calls it a buy. You cannot be owning ITV and worry about one host, can you?"

On the upside, Just Eat Takeaway gained after saying it would keep up its investment drive as the food delivery company reported surging sales and a wider annual loss.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering rallied after it posted a better-than-expected full-year profit, while revenues were in line after a stronger-than-anticipated fourth quarter.

Wealth manager Quilter was also on the rise after better-than-expected full-year results.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,709.04 -0.32% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,319.72 -0.29% techMARK (TASX) 4,096.25 -0.26%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 7,160.00p 4.62% M&G (MNG) 222.80p 3.72% Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 11,410.00p 3.54% Bunzl (BNZL) 2,245.00p 1.35% Pearson (PSON) 816.40p 1.27% SEGRO (SGRO) 909.80p 1.18% Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,630.00p 1.15% BAE Systems (BA.) 504.60p 1.14% Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,184.00p 1.08% Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,129.00p 1.07%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

BHP Group (BHP) 2,124.00p -3.45% Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,642.00p -3.04% Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 554.40p -2.84% Fresnillo (FRES) 910.20p -2.53% Melrose Industries (MRO) 181.25p -2.50% Rightmove (RMV) 566.20p -2.38% Aveva Group (AVV) 3,377.00p -2.23% Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,709.00p -1.84% Smith (DS) (SMDS) 389.50p -1.79% Whitbread (WTB) 3,435.00p -1.77%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Quilter (QLT) 157.50p 7.47% Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 7,160.00p 4.62% Allianz Technology Trust (ATT) 2,730.00p 4.40% Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust (EWI) 341.50p 3.33% Rank Group (RNK) 181.40p 3.30% Tritax Big Box Reit (BBOX) 184.10p 2.85% Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust (USA) 318.00p 2.58% FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 1,094.00p 2.43% CMC Markets (CMCX) 378.00p 2.02% Meggitt (MGGT) 471.00p 1.95%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

ITV (ITV) 119.40p -5.50% Cairn Energy (CNE) 183.30p -4.93% Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 190.15p -4.69% Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 973.00p -4.42% IWG (IWG) 351.00p -3.78% Wood Group (John) (WG.) 318.30p -3.72% Micro Focus International (MCRO) 467.70p -3.65% Babcock International Group (BAB) 245.20p -3.46% Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 2,038.00p -3.41% Balfour Beatty (BBY) 282.20p -3.29%
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