London: Losses in miners and oil majors sent Britain’s top share index into the red on Tuesday, while housebuilding stocks tumbled after weak results from Crest Nicholson piled extra pressure on a sector already hit by a run of poor economic data.
A summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un had limited impact on UK and European stock markets. The FTSE 100 .FTSE fell 0.3 percent by 0900 GMT while the STOXX 600 edged up 0.1 percent.
Miners Anglo American (AAL.L), BHP Billiton (BLT.L) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L) fell as a strong dollar weighed on copper prices.
Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and BP (BP.L) fell 0.6 to 0.7 percent, tracking a decline in Europe’s oil & gas index .SXEP with traders saying investors were pocketing profits after a strong run in the sector.
While commodities weighed on the FTSE 100, the biggest moves were in the mid- and small-cap markets.
Crest Nicholson shares (CRST.L) tumbled 5 percent, leading the housebuilding sector down. The southern England focussed housebuilder said its margins had been hit by higher costs and flat house prices.
“Markets were unimpressed with lack of a clear cost control strategy and with UK housing sector on the downturn it is not clear if the outlook for the housebuilder will improve substantially,” said Artjom Hatsaturjants, analyst at Accendo Markets.
Housebuilders fell for a second day, extending their fall on Crest’s pessimistic tone. Data on Monday showing a fall in UK factory output and widening goods trade deficit had dented the shares.
Barratt Development (BDEV.L), Berkeley (BKGH.L), Persimmon (PSN.L) and Taylor Wimpey (TW.L) all fell 1.4 to 2.2 percent, bottom of the FTSE 100, while mid-caps Bellway (BWY.L) and Redrow (RDW.L) fell 2.8 and 3 percent.
Real estate agency Foxtons (FOXT.L) declined 3.9 percent to the bottom of the small-cap index.
Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM.L) was another top faller, down 5.6 percent after the company’s chief financial officer departed with immediate effect.
Ocado (OCDO.L), which had made gains on Monday after broker upgrades, fell back 4.1 percent after French supermarket chain Carrefour (CARR.PA) upped the ante in the retail sector by signing an online shopping partnership with Google.
Also in disruptive retail, online fashion brand Boohoo (BOOH.L) fell 4 percent despite reporting strong results with revenue growing 53 percent in the three months to May 31.
“Investors may be disappointed by the lower than expected growth at the boohoo brand,” said Jefferies analysts. Liberum downgraded the stock, and one trader also said expectations were very high for Boohoo and some profit-taking was likely.
Shares in Acacia Mining (ACAA.L) fell 4.7 percent to the bottom of the small-cap index .FTSC after the gold miner reported a fatal accident at its North Mara mine in Tanzania.
An upgrade to “overweight” from Morgan Stanley boosted IMI (IMI.L) shares up 2.6 percent and utility Centrica gained 1.7 percent after Jefferies upgraded it to a “buy”.
Meanwhile Kepler’s cut to “reduce” from “buy” sent Tate & Lyle shares (TATE.L) down 3 percent, and a downgrade from Numis drove vehicle retailer Motorpoint to the bottom of the small-cap index.