Miners and Eurozone politicians take the shine off the FTSE 100

MINERS left Britain’s top share index nursing sharp losses yesterday after BHP Billiton’s results offered a bleak outlook for the sector, while other cyclical stocks were weaker as Greek and European officials met on the Eurozone debt crisis.

London’s blue chip index was down 83.32 points, or 1.4 per cent, at 5,774.20.

Cyclical stocks such as miners, banks and oils bore the brunt of the sell-off as Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras began a round of talks with senior Eurozone politicians in which he is expected to broach the idea of giving Greece more time for budget cuts.

Miners accounted for nearly 20 per cent of the FTSE 100’s decline with growth concerns a weight on the shares as BHP Billiton fell 1.7 per cent after announcing no major projects would be approved up to June 2013 as it battles rising costs and an economic slowdown in China.

Some 88 per cent of mining firms missed second quarter earnings expectations with earnings shrinking year-on-year about 47 per cent, Thomson Reuters Starmine data showed.

Kazakhmys was the top faller, down 4.2 per cent ahead of first-half results today, and along with Anglo American had its recommendation cut by JP Morgan to “underweight” from “neutral”. Anglo American was down 3.7 per cent.

JP Morgan also cut its rating on drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline on earnings worries, while Deutsche Bank cut its rating for Europe’s biggest DIY retailer Kingfisher for the same reason.

Glaxo fell 1.6 per cent, while Kingfisher shed three per cent.

Meanwhile utility firm SSE was up 1.2 per cent as it said it will raise household gas and electricity prices by nine per cent.