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LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Index Drop Ahead Of Bernanke Comments

By Preeti Upadhyaya, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.K. stocks traded lower on Tuesday as the market awaited comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and as security firm G4S PLC got hit with a downgrade following its Olympics-contract debacle. The FTSE 100 fell 0.4% to 5,641.32. Bernanke's testimony in Washington is eagerly anticipated, with investors keen to hear if he will make an announcement about a possible third round of quantitative easing by the U.S. central bank. London investors also digested data on U.K. consumer prices, which fell 0.4% to 2.4% in June from May. "U.K. inflation dropped sharply in June to its lowest since November 2009, further alleviating the squeeze on incomes and helping to revive consumer spending," said Chris Williamson, chief economist for Markit, in a note. "However, the same factors that helped push inflation down may soon reverse and drive inflation higher again in coming months," he added, citing prospects for rising food and oil prices. Among individual movers, shares of G4S extended losses from Monday, falling 5.9% as it was downgraded to neutral from buy by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm recently announced it expected to lose up to $78 million on its Olympics contract after coming up short in terms of security staff. The London Games begin on July 27. Also lower, plumbing firm Wolseley PLC dropped 3.1% following an announcement that it will "explore strategic options" for its businesses in France amid difficult business conditions in Europe. Shares of Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) fell 1.9%. The mining giant reported strong second-quarter earnings, but Chief Executive Tom Albanese cited "global economic conditions and sentiment" as reasons for being cautious moving forward. Further weighing on the index, shares of Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) moved down 0.9%. National Grid PLC shed 2.9% to 662 pence after Societe Generale reduced its target price to 642 pence ($10.03) from 682.5 pence. CSR PLC rocketed 31% following news that Samsung Electronics Co. would acquire the U.K.-based semiconductor firm for $310 million. Energy firms also were on the rise as oil prices advanced, with heavyweight BP PLC (BP) up 0.4% and AMEC PLC gaining 1.2%.

Stock News for Companhia Vale (RIO)
DateTimeHeadline
08/21/201412:18:43EUROPE MARKETS: Raiffeisen Rallies, Miners Slip: Europe Movers
08/21/201412:17:19LONDON MARKETS: Miners Drop In London After Weak China PMI
08/21/201403:44:17LONDON MARKETS: Miners Slide In London After Weak China PMI
08/18/201417:36:49ADR Shares End Higher; Rio Tinto Shares Trade Actively
08/18/201405:50:39Rio Tinto Weighs Bougainville Copper Stake
08/17/201421:40:23Rio Tinto Reviews Options for Bougainville Stake
08/17/201420:33:15Rio Tinto Reviews Options for Bougainville Copper Stake
08/14/201404:23:25LONDON MARKETS: Banks Rise, Miners Stumble In London Trade
08/13/201412:33:07EUROPE MARKETS: Admiral Drops, E.On Rises In European Trading
08/13/201412:29:15LONDON MARKETS: Pound Hit, U.K. Stocks Up As Rate Hike Appears...
08/13/201411:16:33LONDON MARKETS: Pound Slides, U.K. Stocks Up After Weak BOE Wage...
08/11/201412:51:09EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Rise As Ukraine Tensions Ease
08/11/201412:49:43LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Rise; Rio Tinto Among FTSE Leaders
08/11/201411:09:17LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Rise As Geopolitical Tensions Ease
08/11/201409:51:05EUROPE MARKETS: Europe Stocks Rise As Ukraine Tensions Ease
08/11/201404:05:32LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Rise After Reaching Nearly Four-month...
08/08/201412:52:07U.S. Stock Futures Edge Higher
08/07/201413:09:12LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Pull Back After BOE; Carnival Rises
08/07/201408:47:47LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Pare Losses After BOE; Rio Tinto...
08/07/201407:08:07LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Slip Ahead Of Rate Decision; Rio...

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