Miners top FTSE fallers as global growth concerns weigh
* FTSE 100 index down 0.7 percent
* Resource stocks among the worst performing this year
* Sainsbury's falls despite good results
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Miners led the FTSE 100 share index down on Wednesday as global growth worries and strikes in southern Europe weighed on stocks that are vulnerable to a downturn in economic activity.
Investors were awaiting progress on talks aimed at giving Greece a much needed infusion of aid, as a coordinated general strike on the Iberian peninsular brought the challenges the euro zone faces back into focus.
Equities have been hit frequently during the year when concerns have surfaced about growth momentum in major economies, while the euro zone will also continue to be a drag on activity as long as the path out of the debt crisis remains unclear.
"I think we're really falling in line with the rest of Europe," said Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst at IG Index.
"Underlying metals have been fluctuating of late, and the uncertainty that has probably come on from the likes of Japan in the last couple of days has affected the commodity prices out there... and commodity stocks will feel the ramifications of that," McCaig said, citing Japanese data out at the beginning of the week and an investor confidence survey which suggested growth fears in Germany.
Evraz was the biggest faller on the index, losing 4.8 percent as the debt-laden steel maker asked bondholders to alter the terms of one of its bonds, and one of its coal suppliers, NWR, forecast a tough end to the year.
Another resources company, Eurasian also lost 2.8 percent. Eurasian is the worst performing FTSE 100 stock this year, down around 54 percent, Thomson Reuters data showed, with its latest results pointing to pressure from weaker markets and rising costs.
They are followed by Evraz on the year-to-date faller list, down just under 38 percent, and Kazakhmys, another miner, down around 26 percent.
The London market's blue-chip index was down 0.7 percent at 5,748.42 points at 1153 GMT, trapped between support at a two-month low in the 5,710 area, which triggered rebounds twice in the previous three sessions, and this week's resistance at around 5,785.
Also weighing on the FTSE on Wednesday was a slip in supermarkets retailer J Sainsbury's shares, down 2 percent despite strong results as traders said they were took profits on the stock as the group's strong first-half results had already been priced in.
They also flagged concerns that key shareholder the Qatari Investment Authority may be close to selling its 25.9 percent stake in the group.
Along with miners, energy, another "cyclical" sector which rises and falls with the economic cycle, also weighed on the FTSE 100, with Shell taking over 9 points off the index.
On the upside, however, oil and gas engineer AMEC was in fact the biggest gainer on the index, adding 2.8 percent, after it reaffirmed guidance and said its order intake remains healthy.
Oil & gas pumps and valves maker Weir gained 2.1 percent, the second-biggest FTSE-100 riser, bouncing back from recent falls, as it is bolstered by read-across from AMEC and an upgrade to 'neutral' from 'reduce' from Nomura. (Additional reporting by Rosalba O'Brien, Simon Jessop and Francesco Canepa; Editing by Toby Chopra)
- Housing, jobs data weaken, but overall economic picture still upbeat
- Target holiday cyber breach hits 40 million payment cards |
- UPDATE 3-Saab wins Brazil jet deal after NSA spying sours Boeing bid
- Zuckerberg to sell Facebook shares worth about $2.3 billion |
- Special Report: Why Ukraine spurned the EU and embraced Russia