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LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Index Drops Following Bernanke Comments

By Preeti Upadhyaya, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) -- British stocks closed lower Tuesday following a statement by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaling a weak economic outlook, and as security firm G4S PLC got hit with a downgrade following its Olympics-contract debacle. The FTSE 100 fell 0.6% to 5,629.09. Bernanke's testimony in Washington was eagerly anticipated, but investors who were waiting for an announcement about a possible third round of quantitative easing by the U.S. central bank to aid the largest global economy were disappointed. Bernanke instead emphasized the need to immediately address the government's massive deficit, saying it posed a threat to the economic recovery. London investors also digested data on U.K. consumer prices, which fell 0.4 percentage points at 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," wrote 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 said, citing prospects for rising food and oil prices. Among individual movers, shares of G4S extended losses from Monday, falling 5.7% as they were downgraded to neutral from buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm recently announced it expected losses of as much as $78 million on its Olympics contract after coming up short in terms of security staff. The London Games begin on July 27. More movers Also lower, plumbing firm Wolseley PLC dropped 1.9% 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 2.3%. The mining giant reported strong second-quarter earnings, but Chief Executive Tom Albanese cited "global economic conditions and sentiment" as reasons for being cautious going forward. HSBC Holdings PLC fell 1.7% following allegations of money laundering from a Senate subcommittee Monday. HSBC subsequently released a statement apologizing. Further weighing on the FTSE 100, shares of Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) moved down 0.3%. National Grid PLC shed 3% to 662 pence after Société Générale reduced its target price on the shares to 642 pence ($10.03) from 682.5 pence. On the rise outside the main index, CSR PLC rocketed 34% 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 0.6% and AMEC PLC gaining 0.9%.

Stock News for Companhia Vale (RIO)
DateTimeHeadline
07/28/201504:28:06Australia Shares End Slightly Down; Energy Stocks Rise
07/23/201509:00:00Industrial Metals and Minerals Stocks under Review -- Uranium...
07/23/201503:50:48Fortescue Deepens Cuts as Iron-Ore Downturn Bites
07/22/201506:50:53Tech, Resources Stocks Weigh on European Markets -- Update
07/21/201503:51:17Australia Shares Extend Gains for Sixth Straight Day
07/20/201504:07:10Australia Shares Rise for a Fifth Straight Session
07/16/201518:01:37ADRs End Higher; National Bank of Greece Declines
07/16/201514:26:21Anglo American Takes up to $4 Billion in Write-Downs -- 2nd Update
07/16/201504:50:10Anglo American Takes up to $4 Billion in Write-Downs -- Update
07/16/201504:00:11Anglo American Takes up to $4 Billion in Write-Downs
07/15/201522:40:45Rio Tinto Trims Iron-Ore Export Target
07/15/201522:12:09Rio Tinto Scales Down Iron Ore Shipment Target-- Update
07/15/201519:21:40Rio Tinto Iron-Ore Shipments Jump 8% for Quarter
07/14/201520:02:38Iron-Ore Trade Quiet as Sellers Hold Cargoes -- Market Talk
07/09/201521:23:18Correction to Energy Resources Article
07/09/201519:23:14Energy Resources Reports 20% Drop in Uranium-Oxide Output
07/08/201518:45:13ADRs End Lower; National Bank of Greece Declines
07/08/201502:52:45Rio Tinto to Ship First Aluminum From Revamped Kitimat Smelter
07/06/201510:05:025 Stocks to Watch in Commodities
07/01/201516:38:27Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh Responds to Critics of Iron-Ore Production

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