By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

Miners dragged down the top British stock market index on Wednesday as a broker downgraded three of the giants after calling a top on iron ore.

The FTSE 100 lost 0.9% to 7,487.64, the worst performer of the major Europe markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/deutsche-bank-shares-slide-as-europe-stocks-drift-before-ecb-meeting-2019-07-24). The mid-cap FTSE 250 meanwhile rose 0.3% to 19,811.70.

What's moving markets

The mood in markets was hurt after the U.S. Justice Department announced late Tuesday it was probing the American technology giants (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-finally-admits-it-is-investigating-big-tech-for-antitrust-2019-07-23) that have carried stock markets higher. U.S. stock futures were pointing to a weaker start Wednesday.

Focus stocks

U.K.-listed miners struggled, with Rio Tinto (RIO.LN) (RIO.LN) shares losing 4.2%, BHP Group (BHP.LN) (BHP.AU) shedding 3.8% and Anglo American (AAL.LN) losing 3.3%. Liberum downgraded all three from buy to hold, citing rising inventories of steel, stalled iron ore port deliveries, declining Chinese steel mill profits and accelerated scrap steel supply.

Battered U.K. broadcaster ITV (ITV.LN) enjoyed some relief, with the stock jumping 7%. The country's largest commercial broadcaster reported a 16% drop in first-half pretax profit and announced new cost savings. The stock is still down 34% over the last 12 months.

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML.LN) shares plunged 23% as the luxury automaker cut its guidance, seeing volumes between 6,300 and 6,500, vs. previous guidance between 7,100 and 7,300. "The challenging external environment highlighted in May has worsened, as have macro-economic uncertainties," the company said.

Informa (INF.LN) shares climbed 6% as the events and publishing company reported a near doubling of its first-half pretax profit as it sees a benefit from buying rival UBM last year.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 24, 2019 07:44 ET (11:44 GMT)

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