By Kit Rees
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s top share index inched higher on Friday on the back of a continued recovery in mining stocks, though investor wariness over recent geopolitical events put the index on track for its biggest weekly loss in nearly five months.
The blue chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index was up 0.1 percent at 7,566.01 points by 0850 GMT, in line with a modest bounce across European indexes, while mid caps <.FTMC> were flat in percentage terms.
Recent market turmoil over a currency crisis in Turkey and uncertainty over global trade have dented risk appetite and hit stocks in more cyclical sectors.
But mining stocks continued their recovery on Friday, joining in a rally with major oil companies as markets took comfort from the prospect of lower-level trade talks between the U.S. and China later this month. This has spurred hopes that the two major economic powers can resolve an escalating tariff war.
The FTSE is down 1.3 percent this week, its worst weekly performance since March this year.
“Risk appetite looks weak at present, so markets may remain in a small trading range until there are clear catalysts to lift investor confidence,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.
Miners Rio Tinto <RIO.L>, Glencore <GLEN.L>, Fresnillo <FRES.L> and BHP Billiton <BLT.L> rose between 0.2 percent to 0.9 percent.
The FTSE 350 mining index <.FTNMX1770> was up 0.4 on the day, but set for its biggest one-week loss in nearly five months.
Consumer staples also rose, along with pharmaceuticals, as sterling remained muted and gave the FTSE’s dollar-earning constituents a boost.
Shares in Kingfisher <KGF.L>, Europe’s second largest home improvement retailer, continued their slide for a second session, down more than 2 percent, making it the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index.
Kingfisher’s shares had dropped on Thursday after the company gave a second-quarter update which included a weak performance at its French business Castorama.
On Friday, several brokers including HSBC and UBS cut their price targets for the stock.
Shares in Kaz Minerals <KAZ.L> were the biggest fallers among mid-caps stocks, down more than 9 percent and reversing the previous session’s gains after its half-year results.
Brokers also cut their price targets for Kaz Minerals, with Barclays citing higher depreciation and interest charges, while Credit Suisse downgraded the stock’s rating to “neutral” from “outperform”.
(Reporting by Kit Rees. Editing by Jane Merriman)