FTSE 100 held back as mining shares struggle

The FTSE 100 was up 1 point at 6,891.15 after opening in the red. Only the consumer goods, financials and telecom sectors were showing gains. The index on Monday fell 0.9%, ending a five-session win streak.

Mining shares were lower, although there was upbeat data on industrial output from China, a major buyer of industrial and precious metals. Industrial output in the world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.2% in November. The median forecast was for 6% growth in a survey of economists by The Wall Street Journal. Also, retail sales in China grew by a faster-than-expected 10.8% last month, accelerating from October’s 10.0% increase.

Diversified miner Rio Tinto shares fell 1.7%, Randgold Resources lost 1.2%, BHP Billiton gave up 1%, and Glencore Pshed 0.3%. Antofagasta flipped up by 0.1%.

Meanwhile, oil producer BP was down 0.9%, while rival Royal Dutch Shell edged up 0.1%. The moves came as oil prices slipped ahead of a monthly oil report from the International Energy Agency.

Unilever shares rose 1% following an upgrade of the Dove soap maker to buy from hold at Jefferies.

Tesco dropped 2.3% although the supermarket chain’s market share and sales rose during the 12 weeks ended Dec.4, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Among mid-caps, Bellway shares climbed 2.3% after the home builder forecast a 5% rise in house sales for fiscal 2017 and said that trading has been encouraging so far.

The pound was buying $ 1.2677, little changed from late Monday.

A reading on UK inflation in November is due at 9:30 a.m. London time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The pace of consumer prices may accelerate and send the annual consumer price index to 1.1%, according to a FactSet consensus estimate. That would mark the first reading above 1% since October 2014.

This article was first published by MarketWatch

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