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FTSE falls as Fed stalls election rally; miners sink on weak prices

FTSE falls as Fed stalls election rally; miners sink on weak prices
People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File photo   -   Copyright  Suzanne Plunkett(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – UK shares fell on Friday, ending two days of gains and taking their lead from weaker U.S. and Asian markets overnight after a hawkish Federal Reserve statement renewed worries about an imminent interest rate hike and weak metals prices weighed.

The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was down 0.6 percent by 1027 GMT, while the domestically focussed mid-cap index was 0.5 percent lower as negative sentiment on Wall Street and in Asia spilled over across European bourses.

The blue-chip index was on track though for a small gains on the week as it continued to recoup ground lost in October.

As the pace of earnings releases slows, investors focussed on news that U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates as widely expected but indicated it was set for another rate hike in December despite worries about the U.S.-China trade war and political uncertainty.

“Stock markets are lower this morning as fears persist about further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Falling base and precious metal prices as the dollar strengthened and lingering worries about Chinese demand pushed mining stocks to the bottom of the bourse. Anglo American <AAL.L>, Antofagasta <ANTO.L>, Glencore <GLEN.L> and BHP Billiton <BLT.L> were all down more than 3 percent.

The sector <.FTNMX1770> was down 2.5 percent, the worst performing industry and on track for its worst day in a month. Weaker oil prices also dragged.

SSE <SSE.L> shares fell 3 percent to their lowest in nearly two months after the energy supplier said it was renegotiating terms with Innogy <IGY.DE> on a proposed retail energy tie-up, reigniting concerns about the outlook for the UK retail market.

Informa topped the leader board, up 2.7 percent, after confirming it’s on track to meet full-year targets and reported 3.9 percent sales growth in the first ten months of the year.

AA <AAAA.L> was the second-biggest faller on the mid-cap, down 6 percent after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock.

(Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Keith Weir)

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