FTSE 100 drops as miners drag; British Airways owner slides

FTSE 100 drops as miners drag; British Airways owner slides
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(July 30): London's FTSE 100 fell on Friday, weighed down by miners over concerns that rising coronavirus infections globally could derail economic growth, while British Airways-owner IAG dropped after saying it was cautious on recovery prospects.

IAG slid 3% after it declined to give a profit forecast for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but said its summer capacity would rise to 45% from 22% in the previous quarter.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 lost 0.7%, with travel stocks leading the decline, while miners Rio Tinto , Anglo American, and Glencore were the top drags.

Glencore fell 2.6% after it reported lower production for nickel, lead and coal in the first half, but raised expectations for its trading division.

"Investors are reassessing the fact that economical and corporate growth could be affected due to the spread of the COVID-19 infections, which in turn would especially negatively affect international facing companies in the FTSE 100," said Susannah Streeter, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

The FTSE 100 was set to end the month unchanged as losses in banks, oil stocks, and personal goods shares countered gains in insurance , real estate and homebuilder stocks .

Concerns that rising inflation could lead the central bank to pull back monetary support, a jump in local coronavirus infections and uncertainty over future earnings growth have somewhat outweighed optimism around recent robust quarterly earnings and bumper dividend payouts.

The mid-cap index fell 0.6%, slipping from record highs hit earlier in the week, but was set to end the month higher.

Among stocks, global education group Pearson gained 0.5% after it reported a better-than-expected rebound in first-half profit and a 17% jump in underlying sales, helping it raise its dividend.

NatWest eased 0.1% even after it accelerated returning cash to shareholders following a return to profit.