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Miners drag London stocks lower; Unite Group slips

by Uma
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Miners drag London stocks lower; Unite Group slips

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) -The UK’s exporter-heavy FTSE 100 index dipped on Monday, weighed down by heavyweight miners, while shares of Unite Group fell to the bottom of the index after a rating downgrade.

The FTSE 100 index edged 0.2% lower in the first hour of trading, lagging its European counterpart the STOXX 600 index which rose. The FTSE 100 logged a weekly loss on Friday, snapping a three-week winning streak.

Last week investors assessed a widely expected quarter percentage point rate hike from the Bank of England, data pointing to slowing business activity across Europe and a surprise U.S. credit rating cut.

The industrial metals and mining sector fell 1.0% on the day, tracking a decline in copper prices. [MET/L]

Mortgage lender Halifax said British house prices fell in July for a fourth month and the slide looks set to extend into 2024, but the market showed some signs of resilience despite a rise in borrowing costs.

LSL Property Services tumbled 13.5% after an annual profit warning due to subdued activity in the British mortgage market.

“We’re still very much in this period where markets have convinced themselves that there will be no landing,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“They’ve also convinced themselves that inflation is going to ease and continue to ease, and there is evidence to the contrary out there on both counts.”

Shares of students accommodation provider Unite Group slipped 0.9% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after RBC Capital Markets cut its rating to ‘sector perform’ from ‘outperform’.

Bank stocks added 0.5% and were among the gainers on the day, with Natwest Group leading the advance on the FTSE 100.

The midcap FTSE 250 and the FTSE small cap indexes were both flat.

Investors now await second-quarter UK GDP data due later in the week, along with inflation reading from the U.S. and China.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Siddarth S in Bengaluru; editing by Eileen Soreng)