FTSE 100 falls as Glencore leads miners lower

U.K. stocks slumped Wednesday, with resource companies leading the charge south on the back of a slide in commodity prices and a mixed earnings report from mining giant Glencore PLC.

The FTSE 100 dropped 0.5% to 6,837.36, partly erasing a 0.6% gain from Tuesday.

Commodity blues: Glencore gave up 3.1% after posting a loss for the first half of the year. But the mining company signaled that it’s on track to significantly reduce its net debt by selling unwanted assets to weather the recent commodities turmoil.

Revenue fell 6% on year to $69.4 billion due to broadly lower commodity prices, as well as to lower copper, zinc, coal and oil production in the first half compared with the same period a year before.

Other miners were heading lower, tracking losses for all major metals. Gold and copper were each down 0.4%, while silver lost 0.6%.

Shares of Anglo American PLC fell 2.6%, Antofagasta PLC erased 2.2%, and BHP Billiton PLC dropped 2%.

Oil companies were in the red as crude and Brent futures both lost more than 1.5%. Shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC gave up 0.6%, and BP PLC fell 0.5%.

Other movers: Shares of WPP PLC rallied 4.4% after the marketing and advertising company reported a rise in first-half sales and confirmed its guidance for 2016.

AstraZeneca PLC 0.5% after the drugmaker said it has agreed to sell part of its antibiotics business to Pfizer Inc. for up to $1.575 billion plus royalties.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC gained 0.4% after the pharma company reiterated its full-year guidance.

The pound was buying $1.3179, down from $1.3193 late Tuesday in New York.

Source: MarketWatch

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