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Miners Pull UK Stocks Lower; Smiths Group Top Gainer

(Reuters) -British shares dropped on Tuesday, dragged down by mining heavyweights on falling underlying metal prices, while Smiths Group topped the blue-chip index after the technology company delivered strong annual earnings.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index eased 0.3%, with precious metals, industrial miners, and industrial stocks Relx and Experian leading declines.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index dropped 1%, with travel and leisure stocks among the top losers.

The FTSE 100 has gained 9.8% from its lowest point this year, buoyed by strong second-quarter earnings and dovish central bank policies. Its pace of growth has, however, slowed recently due to inflation concerns, leading to the index underperforming its European and mid-cap peers.

“Rising inflationary pressures as energy prices continue to rise amid supply bottlenecks have uneased UK investors, and a policy shift sooner than expected would further lead them to run for the safety of their investments as the expensive borrowing would impact demand,” said Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer at Kalkine.

Higher costs and supply chain disruptions have recently pushed central banks to adopt a more hawkish tone, with Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey hinting towards a growing case to hike interest rates.

Goldman Sachs’ Petershill Partners unit traded at 350 pence per share in its market debut. Bookrunners had set a price band of 320 pence-380 pence per share.

British software automation company Blue Prism Group dropped 2.7%, after it agreed to a 1.1 billion pound ($1.50 billion) takeover offer from American private equity firm Vista Equity Partners.

Bucking the trend, Smiths Group jumped 4.1% after it signed a binding agreement to sell its medical devices unit, Smiths Medical, and declared a dividend of 26 pence following robust annual earnings.

British online greetings card retailer Moonpig jumped 1.6%, after it raised its annual revenue forecast.

Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Shashank Nayar; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Rashmi Aich

Source: Reuters

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