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* China property sector woes weigh on mining stocks
* Unilever reports strong earnings but warns of inflation
* Renishaw top boost to the mid-cap index
* FTSE 100 down 0.5%, FTSE 250 off 0.1%
Oct 21 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 index fell on Thursday,
as miners dropped due to rising troubles in China's property
sector and investors fretted about rate-hike prospects, while
Unilever was among the top gainers after posting strong
quarterly sales growth.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.5% lower, with
miners sliding 3.5% on fresh worries about the
heavily indebted property developer China Evergrande Group
Anglo American was among the worst performers on the
commodity-heavy FTSE 100 index, falling 2.8% despite reporting a
2% rise in third-quarter overall production.
Other miners Rio Tinto, BHP Group and
Glencore were down between 2.4% and 4.2%.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index has gained 11.5% this year, but
has underperformed peers in Europe and the United States as rate
hike fears, supply chain concerns, post-Brexit jitters and a
resurgence in COVID-19 infections continue to hurt the market.
"Investors have turned cautious as some of the earnings have
failed to resurrect the confidence as anticipated earlier," said
Kunal Sawhney, CEO of Kalkine.
"The extended course of COVID-19 and the subsequent
resurgence of infections has materially affected the equity
landscape, the primary reason due to which the benchmark FTSE
100 has not recouped the pandemic losses as Dow Industrials or
Adding to woes, economists polled by Reuters projected
inflation to peak at 4% next quarter, while Britain's health
minister Sajid Javid warned that curbs would be brought back if
people did not take up vaccination offers as COVID-19 cases
begin to rise.
Unilever gained 1.2% after the consumer goods giant
beat its third-quarter sales growth forecast and maintained its
full-year profit margin outlook. However, its finance chief
warned of even higher inflation next year.
The domestically focussed mid-cap index eased 0.1%
as weakness in consumer discretionary stocks outweighed strong
Engineering firm Renishaw PLC rose 11.7% to the top
of the mid-cap index after reporting a nearly 146% rise in
(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar, Shashank Nayar and Amal S;
Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Bernadette Baum)