April 24, 2019 / 8:00 AM / 2 months ago

UK stocks fall as concern grows over China's stimulus plans

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* FTSE 100 down 0.2 pct

* FTSE 250 up 0.1 pct

* Metal cos, oil majors top drags

* Mid-cap Centamin jumps on strong Q1

April 24 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped as mining shares fell amid concern that China will reduce its economic stimulus, although gold producer Centamin boosted midcaps after a strong first quarter.

The main index dropped 0.2 percent by 0709 GMT. Midcaps inched up by 0.1 percent.

Mining shares fell 1 percent as the price of industrial metals dropped in Shanghai. Concern is growing that China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, will ease up on its economic stimulus efforts, reducing demand.

Oil majors Shell and BP also fell from multi-month highs as crude prices retreated, amid signs that global markets remain adequately supplied. Crude had jumped to 2019 highs this week after the United States pushed to tighten sanctions against Iran.

A bright spot on the main index was Ireland’s building materials group CRH. Its London-listed shares added 1.1 percent after the company announced more share buybacks following strong first-quarter sales.

Precious metals miner Centamin jumped as much as 7 percent, making it the biggest midcap gainer. Its first-quarter production beat the company’s forecast.

Saga rose 4 percent after JP Morgan said the motor insurer had reset expectations with recent results and upgraded its rating on the stock. The brokerage also raised its rating on the insurer Hastings, which gained 2.3 percent.

But their larger rival, Direct Line, lost 1 percent on the FTSE 100 after JP Morgan lowered its rating to “neutral” from “overweight”. (Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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