London Markets: FTSE 100 veers toward second straight loss, with miners under pressure

U.K. stocks dropped Wednesday, with mining shares leading broad-based losses that could pull London’s blue-chips market to a second straight losing session.

What markets are doing: The FTSE 100 index UKX, -0.19% fell 0.4% to 7,300.03, as the basic material, tech and industrial groups led all sectors lower. On Tuesday, the index shed 0.2% for its fourth loss in five sessions.

The pound GBPUSD, -0.3794%  bought $1.3438, little changed from $1.3442 late Tuesday in New York. Against the euro, sterling GBPEUR, -0.3431%  bought €1.1339, also little changed from Tuesday when the pound bought €1.1367.

What’s moving markets: Stocks trading in London and across Europe SXXP, -0.62%  followed in the footsteps of losses Tuesday on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 Index SPX, -0.37%  fell for a third straight session, suffering its longest losing streak since August. Weakness spilled over to Asian markets. Overall in global markets, technology stocks have been under pressure as investors had been rotating into banks and retail shares as Washington hammers out plans to cut taxes.

Also, mining stocks have been knocked down in the wake of recent losses for copper prices HGH8, +0.83%  on worries over rising inventories and the potential for slowing demand from China, which makes up about half of global consumption for the industrial metal.

Stock movers: Copper prices were moving higher Wednesday following Tuesday’s slide of 4.7% on the Comex market, according to FactSet data. Still, London-listed mining stocks were losing ground. Glencore PLC  GLEN, -1.29% GLCNF, -3.51%  and Antofagasta PLC  ANTO, -1.70%  each fell 1.2%, Rio Tinto PLC RIO, -1.38% RIO, -2.26% RIO, -2.47%  gave up 1.4% and BHP Billiton PLC BLT, -1.08% BHP, -1.64% BHP, -1.98%  moved down 1.3%.

Hammerson PLC HMSO, -1.78%  fell 3.5%, at the bottom of the FTSE 100, after the retail property developer said Wednesday it’s buying shopping center owner Intu Properties INTU, +20.05%  for £3.4 billion ($4.6 billion). Intu shares rallied 18%.

EasyJet PLC EZJ, +1.12%  was up 1.4%, with a ratings upgrade to overweight from underweight at J.P. Morgan Cazenove. The discount airline said it’ll roll out German domestic routes from Berlin next month, according to media reports.

Off the FTSE 100, shares of Saga PLC SAGA, -24.27%  dropped 21% after the travel and insurance company warned that it expects its underlying profit growth for its current financial year to be behind the previous year. It cited more challenging insurance broking conditions and disruption to its tour operations as reasons for the outlook.

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