FTSE slips lower as optimism tempered by slumps for miners

London’s markets drifted into the red as poor showings by miners and commodity firms offset optimism about the easing of UK restrictions.

Retail, leisure and travel firms were broadly positive amid feeling that trade is starting to recover well and that the June 21 reopening phase could go ahead as planned.

However, pressure from China against rising commodity prices meant Anglo American, Glencore and Antofagasta all ended significantly lower.

The FTSE 100 closed 21.8 points lower, or 0.31%, at 7,029.79 on Tuesday.

Josh Mahony, senior market analyst at IG Group, said: “The reopening trade appears to be well and good according to today’s major movers, with gains across the likes of Card Factory, Cineworld, Carnival and IAG all helping to support the FTSE 350 index.

“While the UK government has taken a somewhat stringent approach to international travel, speculation that we could see travel to Spain reopen in early June does add the possibility of a whole raft of routes coming back into play.”

Elsewhere in Europe, there was more optimism among German traders as a monthly barometer of business confidence showed the highest levels in the country for two years.

The German Dax increased by 0.18% and the French Cac moved 0.28% lower.

Meanwhile, sterling was cautious and saw only marginal changes, with the pound decreasing by 0.04% versus the US dollar to 1.412 and rising 0.06% against the euro to 1.154.

In company news, subprime lender Amigo plummeted in value amid fears it could be nearing collapse after the high court rejected its rescue plan.

The guarantor loan business had previously said that the scheme, which would see it hand out lower than expected compensation packages to customers, was integral to its survival.

Shares tumbled by 10.31p to 8.32p at the close as a result.

Elsewhere, sandwich maker Greencore saw its shares sink after it said pandemic restrictions continued to eat into sales.

It dropped by 26.8p to 144p after it posted a 19% slump in revenues to £577 million and fell to a loss for the past six months after it was impacted by the shift toward more home-working and restrictions on hospitality and retail.

Cineworld made gains as traders were boosted by buoyant box office figures for the past weekend, which showed the strongest three-day stretch since before the pandemic struck.

Shares lifted 4.28p higher to 93.88p at the end of trading.

Online fashion brand Sosandar jumped by 3.5p to 23.5p after it raised £5.8 million, more than it had anticipated, through a share issue.

The price of oil lifted marginally as tense talks continued with Iran.

Brent crude increased by 0.23% to 68.62 dollars per barrel.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Just Eat Takeaway.com, up 280p to 6,471p, IAG, up 4.98p to 202p, Ocado, up 43.5p to 2,006p, Experian, up 53p to 2,784p, and Aveva, up 53p to 3,328p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Shell ‘B’, down 35.6p to 1,314.8p, Shell ‘A’, down 34.6p to 1,374p, Anglo American, down 74.5p to 3,083p, BT, down 3.9p to 174.1p, and Glencore, down 6.4p to 305.3p.