FTSE drifts lower into the close

London’s equity benchmark got off to a strong start today but lost momentum towards the closing bell.

For the first half of the trading day the FTSE 100 was well and truly in the black and at one point was up 0.75%, but the buying momentum didn’t last and traders began to take profit.

The mining sector managed to avoid the after sell-off and finished up nearly 3% as investors welcomed the stronger-than-expected trade balance figures from China. The increase in imports suggests that China is still hungry for minerals, and this encouraged traders to buy natural resource stocks.

Investment manager Schroders revealed a strong set of figures today, with profit, assets under management and dividend all up on the year, though one of the firm’s top fund managers has left the company. As its share price recently touched a one-year high, we have seen a bout of profit-taking, and it’s fallen 5.6% on the day.

In the US, the Dow Jones is now down 40 points at 15,430 after a higher open following a rise in jobless claims.

Fast-food chain McDonald's saw sales at its US outlets increase by 0.7% in July, surpassing expectations for a rise of 0.4%. The share price is down 0.4% in early US trading.

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