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Mining sector pulls FTSE lower

Mining sector losses are weighing on the FTSE this morning, causing the index to slip back from yesterday’s highs.

A fresh record high for the S&P 500 has failed to enthuse London markets, as some worrying news from China sent miners lower. Government figures indicated manufacturing growth was weakening, contradicting recent signs of improvement in the economy and providing an excuse for some selling in raw materials.

In addition, a profit warning from Fenner served as a reminder that the situation is not entirely rosy. Warnings seem to be coming through with disturbing regularity, and the sharp drops in share prices that follow suggest that investor sentiment is far from being rock solid. Even now, many are uncomfortable with valuations at current levels, a signal that the push towards 6900 is likely to be delayed once again.

The S&P 500’s steady accumulation of gains carried on yesterday, raising questions about how long this winning streak can continue. The gross domestic product figure had been so widely expected that its overall impact was negligible, but the Chicago purchasing managers index number this afternoon is also expected to be weaker, leaving traders wondering how long the market can continue to ignore bad news. ‘Sell in May’ appears to have been cancelled due to lack of interest, so now we see if June will provide any succour for the bears. 

Ahead of the open, we are calling the Dow Jones down 14 points at 16,684. 

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