Weak performance in mining sector is a drag on the FTSE - London Report

WEAK mining stocks and persistent concerns over Greece’s debt problems weighed on the UK market yesterday.

The benchmark FTSE 100 equity index closed down 0.5 per cent at 6,807.82 points.

Miners took most points off the index, with the FTSE 350 Mining Index falling 1.8 per cent as copper prices lost ground.

The FTSE 100 is about four per cent below a record high of 7,122.74 points reached in April as worries about Greece’s fate have knocked back European markets in the last month.

Without a cash-for-reform deal soon, the chances of Greece avoiding a default to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) look slim. Failure to repay €1.6bn (£1.14bn) owed to the IMF next week could trigger the risk of Greece sliding out of the Eurozone.

“I don’t think we’ll see much major progress until the Greek situation becomes clearer,” said Central Markets trading analyst Joe Neighbour.

Insurance company Admiral fell 1.6 per cent after Citigroup downgraded the stock to “sell” from “neutral”.

Software company Sage rose 3.9 per cent to recover from hefty losses in the previous session as Investec Securities raised its rating on the stock.