FTSE 100 weighed down by weak mining sector

FTSE 100 weighed down by weak mining sector

The FTSE 100 slipped into negative territory as continued weakness among mining stocks and weak trading on Wall Street offset a host of vague merger and acquisition rumours.

At the close of trade on Friday, the FTSE 100 index was down 41.3 points at 6,228.0, nearing session lows of 6,226.4.

Volume was below average with 2.6 billion shares changing hands in 428,536 deals.

Vodafone held to its status as the most popular blue-chip as investors exchanged 327 million shares in the telecoms giant.

BP was the second most traded issue after 60.8 million shares in the energy behemoth were bought by investors.

In London, mining stocks remained under pressure, with copper, silver and gold prices all weakening.

Xstrata topped the FTSE 100 fallers, with a drop of 77 pence — or 3.18 percent — to 2,347, amid reports the group is facing strike action at its Sudbury nickel unit in Canada.

Kazakhmys was the second sharpest faller after the copper group shed 31 pence — or 2.80 percent — to close at 1,076 pence.

On the upside, Imperial Tobacco’s stock rallied to top the bluechip gainers, up 53 pence — or 2.58 percent — to 2,106 in the wake of cautiously positive comment from Citigroup, which said it expects the group to reveal “very strong trading in the first quarter of 2007″.

Alliance Boots finished runner-up on the FTSE 100 leaderboard, after adding 10.50 pence — or 1.30 percent — to close at 821.

Source: AFP

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