Falls in mining company BHP Billiton and Aberdeen Asset Management yesterday and a failure to benefit from a weak euro hindered the FTSE 100 as it lagged behind its European counterparts.
The FTSE 100 index was down 19.06 points, or down 0.3 per cent, at 6,356.09 by the close, lagging sharp gains in top Eurozone shares.
The fall left the blue-chip index down 0.1 per cent in November. The Euro Stoxx 50 finished the month up 2.2 per cent.
The euro was under pressure ahead of the European Central Bank’s meeting later this week, at which it is expected to extend stimulus measures. This boosted exporters and sent Eurozone shares up nearly one per cent.
“We’ve been roughly neutral on UK equities, which are underperforming the rest of the developed markets despite UK economic growth being among the strongest,” said Alan Higgins, UK chief investment officer for Coutts.
“The significant overseas revenue of the biggest UK companies has probably been a drag on sentiment, given recent concerns about global growth.”
A chief laggard this year has been the mining sector, hindered by lingering concerns about the pace of economic growth in China, the world’s top metals consumer.
BHP Billiton led the sector lower again yesterday. It fell 1.3 per cent after Brazil said it would seek 20bn reais (£3.43bn) in damages from BHP and Vale, the owners of iron ore miner Samarco.
A dam owned by Samarco burst on 5 November, killing at least 13 people and dumping millions of tons of mud and waste in the Rio Doce valley.
Aberdeen Asset Management fell 4.6 per cent, the top faller, after it reported a 12.5 per cent fall in its full-year assets under management. Nervous investors have been pulling money out of its emerging market equity funds.
“Our current assumption for September 2016 is for continued outflows… given the comment in the outlook statement that management believe the current weakness [in emerging markets] may have some way to run,” Shore Capital analyst Paul McGinnis said.
Among mid-cap companies, food products supplier Cranswick rose 5.7 per cent after reporting a 3.6 per cent jump in its pre-tax profit in the first half of the year. The company has benefited from a sharp rise in exports of its porcine products to Asia.