By Emily Horton
U.K. markets reopened after the New Year break on Wednesday and the FTSE 100 promptly followed Europe’s other major indexes by flashing red. Mining companies, in particular, were under pressure.
How are markets trading?
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -5.25% fell by around 1% to 6,671.66 after finishing 2018 down 12.5% on Monday.
The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0241% fell to $1.2688 from $1.2745 late on Tuesday in New York.
What is driving the markets?
U.S. stock indexes are poised to sink on the first trading day of 2019 as global markets react negatively to signs of economic weakness in China.
Oil futures also retreated on Wednesday.
In the U.S., President Donald Trump has ramped up pressure on the Democrats in an attempt to secure funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, inviting them to a bipartisan meeting at the White House amid a partial government shutdown, The Wall Street Journal reported .
Pharmaceutical companies started off the New Year by raising the price of hundreds of drugs, with Allergan PLC /zigman2/quotes/206377386/composite AGN -1.45% increasing its prices by nearly 10% on more than two dozen products, the Journal also reported .
What stocks are active?
Mining stocks were under pressure on Wednesday. BHP Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP -6.88% , Evraz PLC /zigman2/quotes/202291633/delayed UK:EVR -4.23% , Antofagasta PLC /zigman2/quotes/200173667/delayed UK:ANTO -3.03% and Glencore PLC /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN -6.16% all lost just over 4%, while Anglo America PLC /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL -3.15% lost just under 4%. However, Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES -3.22% rose by just over 1%.
Elsewhere, online gambling provider GVC Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/207493593/delayed UK:GVC -4.85% gained 2%, retailer Next PLC /zigman2/quotes/200704121/delayed UK:NXT -11.09% added 2% and online supermarket Ocado Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/207225647/delayed UK:OCDO -0.52% rose by 1.5%.