(Sharecast News) - London stocks were still a little lower by midday amid weakness in the mining sector, as investors mulled the latest UK jobs data and looked ahead to US inflation figures.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 7,048.70.
Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: "2021 has been consistent in its trends, and mid-month weakness is an established fact, so in one sense we should not be surprised to see stocks make heavy going of it. Of course, with US CPI on the calendar today some hesitation is not very surprising either.
"We can expect today's numbers to be rapidly deployed in the service of the arguments for and against Fed tapering, although as noted before we are really debating when, not whether, they will cut back asset purchases.
"Concerns about China growth are always a good bet as to why luxury stocks are down, and with Burberry leading the fallers in London and French luxury stocks weighing on the CAC it is clear that the market is still concerned about how China's new direction will hit demand."
The US inflation data for August are due at 1330 BST.
On home shores, meanwhile, figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that worker numbers bounced back in August to pre-pandemic levels, while job vacancies hit a record high as the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis continues.
The number of workers on payrolls increased by 241,000 from August to 29.1m, while the number of job vacancies in the June to August period rose 35% to a new record high of 1.03m, with the biggest jump in hiring seen in hotels and restaurants.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in July from 4.7% the month before, in line with analysts' expectations.
Beauchamp said: "The UK economy is continuing to make headway it seems, although the number of vacancies points towards plenty of slack in the economy that may well mean the BoE is more hesitant about raising rates and/or tapering asset purchases. That the economy continues to show so much life is undoubtedly a good thing, but some optimism will be tempered given how the rate of improvement appears to have slowed of late."
In equity markets, Ocado lost ground after the online supermarket said sales at Ocado Retail dropped by considerably more than expected over its third quarter, but only due to a conflagration at its customer fulfilment centre at Erith.
Miners were under the cosh as copper prices fell, with BHP, Glencore, Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta all lower. Mining giant BHP was also hit by a downgrade to 'equalweight' at Barclays.
British Airways and Iberia parent IAG flew lower after a downgrade to 'neutral' from 'outperform' at BNP Paribas.
On the upside, JD Sports Fashion surged to the top of the FTSE 100 after it reported record first-half results, boosted by pent-up demand after UK stores reopened from lockdown and acquisitions in the US.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,048.70 -0.28%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 23,769.75 -0.03%
techMARK (TASX) 4,666.86 -0.26%
FTSE 100 - Risers
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,133.00p 8.01%
ITV (ITV) 113.50p 1.61%
Royal Mail (RMG) 495.00p 1.56%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,605.00p 1.48%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,910.00p 1.30%
Next (NXT) 7,954.00p 1.30%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 585.40p 1.14%
Pearson (PSON) 747.80p 1.11%
Kingfisher (KGF) 359.10p 1.01%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 5,775.00p 0.79%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 597.00p -2.29%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,842.50p -2.28%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,832.50p -2.27%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 145.10p -2.16%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 176.15p -1.95%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,035.00p -1.88%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,944.00p -1.82%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 110.02p -1.72%
3i Group (III) 1,274.50p -1.54%
Prudential (PRU) 1,457.00p -1.49%
FTSE 250 - Risers
888 Holdings (888) 413.20p 4.98%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,620.50p 3.58%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 65.20p 3.07%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 362.90p 2.11%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 44.46p 1.93%
Hammerson (HMSO) 33.99p 1.92%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 253.50p 1.81%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 94.76p 1.78%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 675.00p 1.73%
Energean (ENOG) 767.50p 1.72%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 368.00p -3.00%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 183.60p -2.81%
Civitas Social Housing (CSH) 90.80p -2.68%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 349.20p -2.02%
IP Group (IPO) 137.20p -2.00%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 152.00p -2.00%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 345.00p -1.99%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 558.00p -1.93%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 19.76p -1.89%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 343.50p -1.86%
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