Rio Tinto, BHP lift FTSE 100 on China stimulus

Rio Tinto, BHP lift FTSE 100 on China stimulus

Reuters  | Aug 17, 2020 09:25

Rio Tinto, BHP lift FTSE 100 on China stimulus

By Sagarika Jaisinghani

(Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 rose for the first time in three sessions on Monday as more stimulus in China powered mining stocks, while investors looked to a slate of macroeconomic data due later in the week to gauge the pace of a post-pandemic rebound.

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 (FTSE) was up 0.3%, with miners Rio Tinto Plc (L:RIO), BHP Group Plc (L:BHPB) and Anglo American Plc (L:AAL) adding between 1.6% and 2.4%.

Asian shares crept closer to their pre-pandemic highs as fresh liquidity from China's central bank helped investors brush past a delay in a weekend meeting of U.S. and Chinese officials to review their Phase-1 trade pact.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 (FTMC), however, was down 0.1%, pressured by another drop for travel and leisure stocks (FTNMX5750), days after Britain expanded its quarantine list to include France and other countries.

"There appears to be increasing nervousness that economies are reaching the limits of what they can do without increasing the risk of a surging second wave of cases as we head toward the autumn months," said Michael Hewson, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

The FTSE 100 has bounced 24% from a coronavirus-driven crash in March as data signalled a nascent rebound in key sectors such as housing, but a recent surge in COVID-19 infections has made investors cautious about betting on risky assets in the absence of a vaccine.

After retail sales for July disappointed in both China and the United States last week, UK data on Friday is likely to show a sharp slowdown following a jump in June. Inflation, consumer confidence and flash readings of business activity surveys are also due this week.

© Reuters. The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain

In earnings-driven news, meat processor Cranswick Plc (L:CWK) jumped 6.4% after a 25% surge in first-quarter revenue, while life-science firm Horizon Discovery Group Plc (L:HZDH) tumbled 4% on posting a first-half loss.

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