By Dave Morris
London markets sank as oil companies retreated following several strong sessions and the bottom fell out for miners.
How did markets perform?
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.72% retreated 0.4% to 7,490.2, following Tuesday’s solid gain of nearly 0.9%.
The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0841% fell 0.1% to $1.2932, after declining 0.3% Tuesday.
Crude oil backed off Tuesday’s highs. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined 0.5% to $65.98/bbl, while the Brent benchmark dropped 0.2% to $74.35.
What’s moving the markets?
Market followers struggled Wednesday morning to digest Tuesday’s record-high closes in U.S. equities. While earnings came in stronger than expected, analysts cautioned that the case for continued strength wasn’t a slam dunk.
A slow day for Brexit news, as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was reported to be targeting a parliamentary vote on her withdrawal agreement next week as discussions continued within the Conservative Party around whether to change the rules and force her out as leader. Talks between government and opposition Labour Party representatives again broke down, perhaps because their lack of progress was overshadowed by the lack of progress elsewhere.
Which stocks are active?
A retreat in crude prices forced oil companies to give back some of Tuesday’s gains. Tullow Oil /zigman2/quotes/205079109/delayed UK:TLW +2.29% fell 2.7%, and major oil companies BP Plc fell 1.6% while Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +3.10% dropped 1%.
The shine came off miners on Wednesday, with Anglo American PLC /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +2.54% leading the FTSE 100 decliners at 2.3%. Others affected include BHP Group Plc /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP +2.63% , down 1%, Rio Tinto PLC /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO +1.81% retreating 0.8% and Antofagasta Plc /zigman2/quotes/200173667/delayed UK:ANTO +1.87% down 0.5%.