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Miners hold FTSE back from European bounce

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The UK office of Rio Tinto which revealed a disappointing set of results on Wednesday (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)
The UK office of Rio Tinto which revealed a disappointing set of results on Wednesday (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)

The FTSE 100 fell behind its European peers on Wednesday as a group of miners held it back from joining the continent’s rush.

A poor performance from Rio Tinto proved the problem for the index, which closed up just 27.94 points, rising 0.4% to 7,629.22.

It compared to Germany’s Dax, which rose 1.5% and the Cac 40 in Paris, up 1.4%.

“Rio Tinto shares have slid back after the Australian miner said that iron ore shipments declined 10% in the first quarter, from the same period a year ago, due to various production issues, caused by Covid and/or reduced production capacity,” said Michael Hewson, an analyst at CMC Markets.

He added: “The mining giant also warned that rising inflation caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and resurgence of Covid cases was likely to introduce downside risks to market expectations.”

These concerns were not just confined to Rio. While its shares were among the worst impacted on the FTSE, down 4.8%, Glencore, Antofagasta and Anglo American were also all among the top fallers on Wednesday.

But some strong rises were enough to offset these drops, among others from Irish builder CRH which had a “positive start to the year” according to Mr Hewson.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 was up 0.3% while the Dow Jones had gained 0.9% by the time markets were closed in Europe.

On currency markets, sterling rose 0.02% to 1.3049 dollars per pound or 0.13 to 1.2025 euros.

In company news, Just Eat Takeaway.com said it might sell Grubhub which it bought as recently as 2020 in a nearly £6 billion deal.

The Anglo-Dutch business said it had seen a drop in orders and was considering the possible sale, which is favoured by Cat Rock, an activist investor with a 7% stake in the company.

Shares rose 2.1%.

888, a gambling company, saw its shares drop 4.8% after revealing a fall in revenue during the latest three-month period as gamers abandoned its products.

It made just 224 million dollars (£172 million) in the latest quarter, down 18% compared to the same time last year.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were: CRH, up 178.5p to 3,215.5p; Ashtead, up 184p to 4,776p; Experian, up 106p to 2,817p; Ferguson, up 360p to 10,610p; and Intermediate Capital Group, up 53.5p to 336.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were: Ocado, down 61p to 1,082p; Rio Tinto, down 292p to 5,850p; Glencore, down 17p to 518.9p; Antofagasta, down 51p to 1,636p; and Anglo American, down 120p to 4,035.5p.

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