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Miners drag London markets lower

Concerns over iron ore production pull BHP Group and others down Read More...

London markets were marginally lower as mining giant BHP Group PLC followed rivals in cutting iron ore production guidance.

How did markets perform?

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, -0.06%  fell 0.1% to 7,459.1. It had risen 0.4% Tuesday.

The pound GBPUSD, -0.0920%  was down 0.1% to $1.3043, on top of Tuesday’s 0.5% fall.

The euro EURUSD, +0.2836% rose 0.3% to $1.312. On Tuesday, it declined 0.1%.

What’s moving the markets?

China’s economy grew 6.4% year over year in the first quarter, higher than the consensus of 6.3% and broadly positive in key areas such as industrial production and retail sales.

Neil Wilson, Chief Market Analyst for Markets.com, said: “Trump’s move to not raise tariffs in March seems to have made a big difference, as does government stimulus. Nevertheless, despite these better figures, we should remind ourselves that China is growing at its weakest pace in about three decades.”

The relative lack of movement in equities markets suggests markets were expecting the China result, leaving much of the activity in Europe to cluster around companies with earnings Wednesday.

In economic data, the U.K. saw a mixed picture as the Producer Price Index of output for March beat expectations with 2.4%, versus 2.1% predicted. However the Office of National Statistics’ house price index for February saw a year over year increase of just 0.6%, after January’s 1.7% increase.

Which stocks are active?

U.K. outsourcing and food service equipment distributor Bunzl PLC BNZL, -8.90%  saw a sharp decline of 10.8% after disappointing first-quarter earnings that showed higher revenues at actual exchange rates, but slowing underlying growth. The company announced its acquisition of Dutch firm Coolpack and indicated it was ready to consider further deals.

Mining giant BHP Group PLC BHP, -3.31%  was lower ahead of quarter earnings, dropping 3.3% after issuing its production guidance and trimming its outlook for iron ore, following rival Rio Tinto. BMO analysts warned that BHP needs a strong quarter to offset weakness in the previous one.

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