Economic news

London Stocks Reverse Early Gains as Energy, Precious Metal Miners Weigh

  • FTSE 100 down 0.1%, FTSE 250 off 0.2%
  • BT Group drops trading ex-dividend
  • UK 10-year gilt yield hits lowest since April

Dec 28 (Reuters) - The UK's FTSE 100 pared earlier gains and moved lower on Thursday, following a drop in heavyweight energy and precious metal mining stocks, while a drop in yields indicated diminished risk around interest rate volatility.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.1% by 9:43 GMT, while the FTSE 250 midcap index edged 0.2% lower.

Britain's benchmark 10-year gilt yield briefly fell to its lowest level since April 6, as traders maintain bets that the Bank of England will cut interest rates this year.

Oil and gas shares dropped 0.5%, on lower crude prices as concerns eased about shipping disruptions along the Red Sea route.

"The market is likely to try the upside again... maybe in the early new year, on expectations of a recovery in fuel demand thanks to monetary easing in the United States," said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, president of NS Trading, a unit of Nissan Securities.

Among other decliners, homebuilder stocks lost 0.8%, while precious metal miners slipped 0.8% as gold prices moved lower.

Industrial metal miners gained 0.1% as copper prices climbed, supported by a softer dollar on bets of interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve in the upcoming year.

Automobile and parts shares rose 0.1% after claiming a six-week high in the previous session.

Among individual stocks, BT Group shares fell 2.1%, trading ex dividend.

Refractory products supplier RHI Magnesita is the FTSE 250's top performer, up 6.1%, followed by Helios Towers, up 2.1%.

Reporting by Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman and Shailesh Kuber

Source: Reuters

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