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Sept. 12, 2019, 5:38 a.m. EDT

FTSE 100 struggles higher; miners lifted on signs of trade-war tensions cooling

British American Tobacco, Wm Morrison among top movers

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


AFP/Getty Images
Headquarters quarters of British American Tobacco at Temple Place in central London on January 17, 2017.

The FTSE 100 struggled to capture positive ground on Thursday, with gains from the mining sector lifting the index higher, while energy names tugged the other way.

Many investors were distracted by an important European Central Bank meeting, but the U.K. index clung to gains. Helping out were signs of easing tensions between the U.S. and China, after President Donald Trump tweeted that he will delay implementing higher tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods for two weeks as a “gesture of good will.”

Read: ECB must try to avoid wrecking eurozone banks with a rate cut

And: Too little or never enough: The ECB risks delivering only disappointment

What that did for London was lift commodity producers such as Glencore /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN +3.01%  and Anglo American /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +3.05% , up 2% and 1.2%, respectively.

The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.28%  index rose 0.1% to 7341.52. The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0694%   was flat at $1.2325.

Of stocks in focus, shares of British American Tobacco /zigman2/quotes/207081878/composite A +0.56%  climbed 3% after the company said it would lay off 2,300 employees by 2020 in a bid to streamline its operations. The London Stock Exchange /zigman2/quotes/206625606/delayed UK:LSE +0.59%  slipped 0.1% after the Financial Times reported the group would reject a nearly $40 billion (30 billion pounds) buyout offer from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.

Shares of Wm. Morrison Supermarkets /zigman2/quotes/205533138/delayed UK:MRW -0.83%  was a top gainer for the index, up 3.5% after the retailer said profit rose 49% in the first half of fiscal 2020, and said its partnership with Amazon.com /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +0.79%  will be extended.

/zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
234.40 p
+6.85 +3.01%
Volume: 18.93M
Oct. 21, 2019 2:31p
P/E Ratio
48.83
Dividend Yield
6.57%
Market Cap
£30.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
£1.04M
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/zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,957.80 p
+58.00 +3.05%
Volume: 1.92M
Oct. 21, 2019 2:31p
P/E Ratio
7.92
Dividend Yield
4.62%
Market Cap
£23.52 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,170.61
+20.04 +0.28%
Volume: 364,832
Oct. 21, 2019 2:31p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullet Prebon
1.2983
+0.0009 +0.0694%
Volume: 0.0000
Oct. 21, 2019 9:46a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207081878/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 74.99
+0.42 +0.56%
Volume: 51,529
Oct. 21, 2019 9:46a
P/E Ratio
22.46
Dividend Yield
0.87%
Market Cap
$23.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$336,959
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206625606/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
7,144.00 p
+42.00 +0.59%
Volume: 186,997
Oct. 21, 2019 2:31p
P/E Ratio
52.61
Dividend Yield
0.89%
Market Cap
£24.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205533138/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
201.90 p
-1.70 -0.83%
Volume: 2.56M
Oct. 21, 2019 2:30p
P/E Ratio
15.92
Dividend Yield
4.30%
Market Cap
£4.87 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,771.47
+13.96 +0.79%
Volume: 158,772
Oct. 21, 2019 9:46a
P/E Ratio
73.32
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$869.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
$359,671
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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