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Weaker commodity stocks drag down FTSE index
May 15, 2015 / 3:31 PM / 3 years ago

Weaker commodity stocks drag down FTSE index

* Blue-chip FTSE 100 index down 0.3 percent

* U.S. economic data hurts sentiment

* ITV rises on positive broker comments

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s top share index slipped in late trading on Friday, with energy and mining sectors falling the most on U.S. growth concerns and after prices of key commodities dropped.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s survey said economists cut their forecasts for U.S. growth in the second quarter, U.S. data showing industrial production fell for a fifth straight month in April and consumer sentiment dropped more than expected this month, darkening the mood.

“The market believes that there is more to worry about given that recent U.S. data is continuing to miss expectations. Growth concerns are particularly hurting cyclical sectors such as energy and mining,” James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts, said.

The UK mining index fell 1.2 percent, the top sectoral decliner, as prices of copper and most other industrial metals fell on a firmer dollar. Shares in Anglo American, Glencore and Fresnillo were down 0.7 to 1.9 percent.

The oil and gas index fell 1 percent after crude oil prices fell 1.5 percent on reports that a growing supply glut was boosting inventories worldwide.

Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.3 percent at 6,953.55 points by 1454 GMT after rising to 7,009.41 in early trading. It has fallen 1.3 percent so far this week.

SABMiller, up 0.6 percent, outperformed the market after saying it would acquire British craft beer firm Meantime Brewing Company, giving the maker of big name brands such as Peroni and Grolsh exposure to the fastest-growing part of the British beer market.

“The variety of styles added to SAB’s extensive local and heritage beer menu should serve it well, while its experience will help with Meantime’s strategic goal of making beer attractive to a wider clientele,” Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said.

“While acting as a predator today, SAB remains prey in terms of sector consolidation which is keeping the shares close to all-time highs.”

Among other sharp movers, ITV rose 1.7 percent, with JP Morgan, Barclays and Bernstein all raising their target prices for the stocks.

“We continue to see ITV as a well-managed company that executes their business plan very well,” analysts at Barclays said in a note. (Editing by Susan Thomas)

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