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LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Trade Lower As Resource Firms Fall

By Preeti Upadhyaya, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) -- The main U.K. stock index traded slightly lower Monday, as mining shares weighed while banks lent support. The FTSE 100 eased 0.1% to 5,843.77, partly erasing a 1% gain from last week. Miners led the index lower, with Vedanta Resources PLC dropping 1.9% and Kazakhmys PLC trading 1% lower. Anglo American PLC fell 0.4% and Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. PLC shed 0.7%. It was the same for sector heavyweights Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) and BHP Billiton PLC (BHP), shares of which were off by 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively. Metal prices were mostly lower. Also on the move down, Petrofac Ltd. slumped 5%, after reporting a 32% increase in net profit for the first half of the year, as the oil-services firm also said second-half profit will be lower than in the first six months. Underpinning the FTSE 100, banking major HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) picked up 0.4% as Barclays PLC (BCS) added 0.9%. Shares of Standard Chartered PLC , much in the headlines lately, picked up 1.5%. Moving in the other direction, pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) slipped 0.4%. The U.K. index, much like the rest of Europe, was focused on the supporting role of central banks as the global economy loses momentum, according to Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin in London. "Markets are reluctant to give up an awful lot of ground," he continued, adding that while mining firms continued to slump thanks to disappointing Chinese data from last week, the rest of the index is well supported by the prospect that central banks will ultimately act to help the global economy. Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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