FTSE 100 index opens lower on miners, including Anglo American and BHP Billiton

James Nickerson
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Opec yesterday failed to agree on curbing production (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 index opened down this morning, led lower by miners. Again.

The UK's blue-chip index opened 0.25 per cent down at 6,208 points, led lower by Anglo American and BHP Billiton.

Anglo opened 2.76 per cent down at 358.7p per share, while BHP Billiton's stock flopped 3.53 per cent to 737p per share.

Anglo American today set out what it calls a "radical restructuring", including further material cost savings in order to overcome the slump in commodities prices, and a suspension of its dividend for the second half of 2015 and 2016.

Read more: FTSE 100 closes down on oil companies

Prospects for miners will have been hit after economic data released today showed China's imports fell for the 13th month in a row, slumping 8.7 per cent year-on-year in November.

Rio Tinto and Glencore also fell, by 2.98 per cent to 2004.5p per share and 4.05 per cent to 81.93p per share respectively. Antofagasta was down 1.93 per cent at 468.5p per share.

"Metals prices also came under pressure, with iron ore prices slipping further below $40 a ton and with no evidence of a base in sight, this in turn is likely to turn the screws further on a highly leveraged mining sector," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

Read more: Brent crude nears seven-year low after Opec decision

Meanwhile BP and Royal Dutch Shell's fortunes didn't improve as the markets opened. BP was trading 1.29 per cent down at 343.1p per share, while Royal Dutch Shell B Shares were 0.75 per cent down at 1,515p per share.

On Friday the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to agree on curbing production despite a global supply glut and the strength of the dollar, which led to a further collapse of oil prices, with the resulting uncertainty hitting stock markets.

After it led the FTSE 100 yesterday on optimism that talks with shareholders this week will help bring about a quicker and more effective turnaround, Rolls-Royce was trading 1.88 per cent lower this morning, at 599p per share.

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