Britain's FTSE 100 falls as miners, homebuilders drag

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain

By Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) -Britain's exporter-heavy FTSE 100 ended lower on Tuesday, dragged by weakness in mining and homebuilder stocks, while a rise in domestic business activity fanned fears of more rate hikes by the Bank of England.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.5%, slipping below 8,000 points after having closed above that mark for the past three days. The pound rose 0.6%.

The domestic-focussed FTSE 250 mid-cap index declined 1.2% to hit its lowest level in three weeks.

British businesses reported an unexpected bounce in activity as well as receding price pressures this month, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the economy may be sidestepping the risk of recession.

"We have had a strong start to the year in risky assets, partly premised on the idea that policy rates would peak relatively soon and then come down," said Richard Flax, chief investment officer at Moneyfarm.

"What we have seen over the last week is that macro data has cooled that thesis."

UK homebuilders fell 2.4%, led by declines in Persimmon as rate hike concerns gained traction.

Industrial metal miners shed 2.9%, with Anglo American down 3.8% and leading declines after its unit, Kumba Iron Ore, cut its production outlook.

Also weighing on the sub-index was Antofagasta, down 2.2% as the Chilean miner more than halved its annual dividend and reported a drop in full-year profit.

Shares of HSBC Holdings reversed earlier losses to trade up 4.3% after it posted a 92% surge in quarterly profit.

"The consideration of an incremental special dividend on the back of the proceeds of the $10 billion Canadian bank sale appears to have swayed sentiment as the day has progressed," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

Among other stocks, Holiday Inn-owner IHG Plc slipped 1.0% after it missed full-year revenue expectations due to China's COVID curbs.

Smith+Nephew rose 4.2% on an upbeat 2023 revenue growth outlook.

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)