By Devik Jain and Shivani Kumaresan
(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 snapped a three-day winning streak to inch lower on Thursday, as miners and B&M European Value Retail’s downbeat earnings outlook weighed, while services sector activity hit a 24-year high last month.
The blue-chip index fell 0.6%, with miners, including Anglo American, BHP Group and Rio Tinto falling between 1.9% and 2.8%.
Discount retailer B&M European fell 3.9% after it said trading would likely remain volatile this year and organic growth would likely decline.
National Grid fell 4.1% to the bottom of the index, while home improvement retailer Kingfisher lost 2.0%, as they traded without entitlement to a dividend payout.
The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index declined 0.6%, easing from a record peak scaled in the previous session.
“Over the past month or so we have seen stock markets globally stabilizing a bit after big gains in the previous months. We don’t see this continuing,” said Franziska Palmas, markets economist at Capital Economics.
“The FTSE will make further gains between now and the end of the year, benefitting from further rotation towards the sectors that were hit hard during the first part of the pandemic.”
After breaking above the 7,000-mark in mid-April, the FTSE 100 index has moved in a narrow range on worries that rapid economic growth could lead to higher inflation and faster tightening of ultra-loose monetary policies.
Britain’s services sector recorded the biggest jump in activity in 24 years last month, after pubs and restaurants were allowed to resume serving customers indoors following months of lockdown, according to a closely watched business survey.
Among other stocks, Workspace Group dropped 3.2% after the office-space provider slipped into its first annual loss in 12 years.
BT Group fell 1.9% after Deutsche Bank downgraded the telecom group’s stock to “sell,” saying it is overvalued.
Chemicals maker Johnson Matthey rose 2.3% after it entered into a joint agreement with Nano One Materials to develop lithium-ion battery materials.
(Reporting by Devik Jain and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V and Kirsten Donovan)