Belfast Telegraph

FTSE 100 rally ends with 47.27-point dip

The London market gave up its winning streak and slipped from a 14-month high as investors booked profits after a near two-week rally.

The FTSE 100 Index closed down 47.27 points to 6893.92 after notching up its eighth consecutive session of gains on Monday, with retail giant Marks & Spencer leading the market lower.

The high street bellwether, which reported last month that its beleaguered clothing arm had eked out its worst sales performance for more than a decade, was off more than 3% or 11.3p to 337.5p.

However, a rally from the mining giants helped to offset widespread falls on the top-flight index, with Antofagasta in the ascendency after its earnings beat expectations.

Shares were up more than 8% or 44.5p to 558.5p, as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 2% to a higher-than-expected 571.6 million US dollars (£442 million).

Rio Tinto was also up 51p to 2486.5p, Glencore climbed 3.9p to 196.9p, and Anglo American rose 17.3p to 890p.

On the currency markets, the pound broke through the 1.30 US dollar mark, rising 1.12% to 1.302 US dollars, after inflation rose to a higher-than-expected 0.7% in July.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation was up from 0.5% in June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, with economists expecting the figure to be unchanged.

The ONS said CPI was impacted by transport costs rising by 1.6% between June and July, compared with a 1.2% increase over the same period a year ago, while the prices of second-hand cars fell less than they did a year ago.

Sterling was also 0.23% higher against the euro at 1.154 euros.

The price of oil was edging closer to the 50 US dollar mark after stepping up 1.1% to 48.9 US dollars barrel.

Brent crude was climbing on the back of production losses in Nigeria driven by terrorist attacks and pipeline problems.

Across Europe, Germany's Dax closed down 0.58% and the Cac 40 in France was 0.83% lower.

In UK stocks, housebuilders pushed higher after property prices increased by £17,000 in the year to June, continuing the upward trend in values across the UK despite fears of a Brexit downturn.

A typical property in the UK cost £214,000 in June, marking an 8.7% increase from the same month last year, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed. That compared with an 8.5% rise in the year to May.

On a month-to-month basis, June prices increased £2,100.

Barrat Developments rose 4.9p to 441.7p, Taylor Wimpey edged 0.7p higher to 153.8p, and Berkeley Group climbed 4p to 2497p.

Away from the top tier, shares in British building giant Balfour Beatty were up more than 1% after it celebrated its biggest US contract to date, securing a £524 million deal to electrify 52 miles of California's railway.

The FTSE 250 company will lay the infrastructure for new high speed trains along the Caltrain rail corridor which runs across 17 cities between San Francisco and San Jose.

Shares were up 3.4p to 244.4p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index were Antofagasta up 44.5p to 558.5p, Rio Tinto up 51p to 2486.5p, Glencore up 3.9p to 196.9p, and Anglo American up 17.3p to 890p.

The biggest fallers were Marks & Spencer down 11.3p to 337.5p, easyJet down 27p to 1060p, BAE Systems down 12p to 521.5p, and IAG down 8.5p to 394.3p.