Grocers and miners pull index to lowest level since January - London Report

BRITAIN’S top equity index hit its lowest level since mid-January yesterday, pulled down by supermarkets and miners and underperforming even Eurozone shares despite Greece being hours away from a repayment default.

While new data showed Britain’s economy enjoyed a stronger start to the year than previously thought, buoyed by big-spending consumers and an upturn in business investment, weak exports continued to drag on growth.

The FTSE 100 fell 1.5 per cen to 6,520.98, with mining stocks BHP Billiton and Anglo American down 2-3 per cent after Australia cut its iron-ore price forecast for 2015 by 10 per cent and metal prices slid on excess supply fears. Top Eurozone stocks fell 0.2 per cent.

Retailers also fell after data from Kantar showed the overall UK grocery market fell 0.1 per cent in the 12 weeks to June 21. Tesco, whose sales were estimated to have fallen 1.3 per cent, saw its shares slide 2.2 per cent.

Standard Life was among the worst performers, after analysts at RBC downgraded the stock.