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Falls in mining and energy halt FTSE's winning streak

THE FTSE 100&rsquo;s two-week winning streak finally came to an end yesterday, with the benchmark index closing 1.3 per cent down on the day. <br /><br />The blue chip index had looked set to put in another consecutive day&rsquo;s gain in earlier trading, but profit taking in mining and energy stocks dragged it lower. <br /><br />The FTSE 100 closed 57.29 points lower at 4,528.84 points, in a choppy session that saw it struggling to hit a record twelfth day of gains.<br /><br />The index has risen 11 per cent over the past two weeks on reassuring US corporate earnings results, and is up 31 per cent per cent since hitting a six-year trough in March.<br /><br />Miners took the most points off, with <strong>Antofagasta</strong>, <strong>Kazakhmys</strong>, <strong>Eurasian Natural Resources</strong>, <strong>Lonmin</strong> and <strong>Rio Tinto</strong> falling between 3.6 and 7.2 per cent.<br /><br />&ldquo;We have had a very good run in the course of the past few weeks but there are limits as to how far markets are able to go given the economic background against which we&rsquo;re operating,&rdquo; said Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank.<br /><br /><strong>Xstrata</strong> fell 5.8 per cent, as investors cashed in on recent gains after the miner posted an 11 per cent rise in first-half production of coal, while copper output added 1 per cent. <br /><br />&ldquo;In a way Xstrata&rsquo;s production, whilst positive, is a sideline as it continues to stalk Anglo American which publishes results on Friday,&rdquo; says Evolution Securities, which repeated its &ldquo;Reduce&rdquo; rating on valuation grounds.<br /><br /><strong>Randgold Resources</strong> fell 8.6 per cent after the gold miner announced a share offering to fund the development of its Gounkoto and Massawa projects in Senegal and Mali as it reported a rise in quarter-on-quarter profits and production.<br /><br />Oil firms were also lower, with BP losing 3.2 per cent, after the company reported a halving in second quarter profits due to lower oil prices, but said it has increased its cost reduction targets. <br /><br /><strong>BG Group</strong>, <strong>Royal Dutch Shell</strong>, <strong>Tullow Oil </strong>and <strong>Cairn Energy</strong> fell between 1.1 and 2 per cent, as crude oil prices fell below $67 per barrel. <br /><br />Banks were under pressure, with <strong>Barclays</strong>, <strong>HSBC</strong>, <strong>Lloyds Banking Group</strong>, <strong>Royal Bank of Scotland</strong> and <strong>Standard Chartered</strong> declining between 0.3 and 3.8 per cent. This came after UK Financial Investments, which manages Britain&rsquo;s stakes in its part and fully nationalised banks, said John Kingman would quit as its chief executive. <br /><br />Mobile heavyweight <strong>Vodafone</strong> fell 1.5 per cent. The mobile phone operator said there was no sale process under way for Deutsche Telekom&rsquo;s T-Mobile UK subsidiary, at a gloomy annual meeting overshadowed by economic and performance concerns.<br /><br />Defensive pharmaceutical stocks led the blue-chip risers, led by a 0.7 per cent gain in <strong>GlaxoSmithKline</strong> after the company said it aims to start selling Amgen&rsquo;s keenly awaited new osteoporosis drug denosumab in Europe by the middle of next year.