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Miners drag FTSE 100 lower on China concerns

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain

By Johann M Cherian and Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) -The UK's blue-chip FTSE 100 fell on Monday as mining stocks slumped after top metals consumer China's decision to set a modest growth target, while a surge in luxury carmaker Aston Martin's shares lifted the mid-cap FTSE 250.

The export-oriented FTSE 100 fell 0.2%, dragged down by a 3.3% slide in industrial metals miners.

Copper prices were in the red as China set a lower-than-expected gross domestic product target of 5% for the year. Policy sources had recently told Reuters that Beijing could set a range as high as 6%. [O/R] [MET/L]

"We've got a little bit of caution and we saw commodities a little bit lower because of that modest growth expectation from China which is impacting the general market mood at the start of the day," Giles Coghlan, chief market analyst at HYCM, said.

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The domestically-focussed FTSE 250 was up 0.7%, lifted by Aston Martin shares, which rose for seventh straight sessions.

Both the large-cap and mid-cap FTSE indexes had a strong run in the previous week after data showed resilience in the domestic economy and hopes grew that the Bank of England is closer to the end of its monetary tightening cycle.

Among other stocks, Rolls Royce and Flutter Entertainment Plc rose 2.1% and 4.6%, respectively, after brokerages raised their price targets. Shares in Rolls Royce hit their highest level since March 2020.

Although AstraZeneca said a mid-stage trial of its cancer drug Enhertu showed positive results for treating other tumours as well, its stock slipped 0.4%

Clarkson shares rose 1.8% after the shipping services provider reported a strong annual profit.

(Reporting by Johann M Cherian and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Shailesh Kuber and Alexander Smith)