Resource stocks keep FTSE in the red

London’s equity benchmark index is in the red as natural resource stocks continue to weigh on investor confidence.

The resource sector is off its lows, but weaker commodity prices and worse-than-expected updates from mining companies have encouraged traders to sell mineral extractors.

The world's largest mining company, BHP Billiton, reported a 30% decline in full-year profit earlier today. BHP is cautiously expanding its potash division, but the share price is 1.6% weaker.

The recently-merged miner Glencore Xstrata announced its first ever set of figures as a combined corporation, writing down £4.9 billion in assets. The stock is down by 2%.

John Wood Group posted an 18.6% rise in pre-tax profit for the first six months compared with the same period in 2012. The oil services provider lowered its annual forecast down to 10%-15% and as a result, the stock is off nearly 9%.

US giant Home Depot has revealed quarterly earnings per share of $1.24, topping analysts’ estimates of $1.21. The Dow Jones is set to open 50 points higher at 15,060.  

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