June 19, 2013 9:24 am

Miners help limit FTSE 100 losses

London’s mining stocks helped the FTSE 100 hold steady on Wednesday, with bargain hunting in the heavily-weighted sector standing out in quiet, pre-Fed trade.

London’s main equities index slipped just 8 points in early trade to 6,365.73, a loss of 0.1 per cent.

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Without demand for beaten-down looking valuations for metals stocks, the losses would have been significantly wider.

They were broad-based, with only 10 stocks making gains, four of them miners led by Rio Tinto, up 1.8 per cent at £28.62.

The biggest losses came for a troika of stocks trading without further rights to their latest dividend payments.

United Utilities fell 3.6 per cent to 699p, the biggest single loss on the index. Fellow utility Severn Trent, which recently spurned a £22-per-share bid from a consortium of investors, fell 2.9 per cent to £17.13 – also trading ex-dividend. Experian, the credit consultant, was 1.5 per cent weaker at £11.57.

There were more losses for Aggreko, the provider of temporary generators, as a series of negative comments from analysts followed its lacklustre interim trading statement, published on Tuesday.

Among them, UBS cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “buy”, and Aggreko shares fell 3.1 per cent to £16.99.

BAE Systems climbed 1.6 per cent to 402.2p after the chief executive of Eurofighter, a joint venture between BAE, EADS and Finmeccanica, said he was targeting spending reductions to make the consortium’s Typhoon jet more competitive.

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