Defensive sectors were firmly out of favour on Tuesday as investors shifted into ‘riskier’ assets such as mining stocks.
Food and drug retailers were the worst performers, with heavyweight supermarket peers Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrison registering moderate losses in afternoon trade.
Other defensive sectors (and stocks) under pressure were tobacco (Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco), electricity (Drax, SSE) and utilities (United Utilities, Severn Trent).
In contrast, industrial metals and mining stocks were in demand as copper prices rebounded from hitting year-to-date lows last week.
Hopes over the Chinese economy were helping copper prices today after Shanghai Securities News said that Chinese banks have ‘sped up’ lending as the government fast-tracked the approval of infrastructure investments. Copper prices are sensitive to the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy as it is the top consumer of the metal.
Copper peers African Copper and First Quantum Minerals were among the best performers in the sector.
Top performing sectors so far today
Forestry & Paper 5,611.88 +2.96%
Industrial Metals & Mining 3,130.50 +2.74%
Electronic & Electrical Equipment 3,220.03 +2.34%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 23,586.90 +2.30%
Construction & Materials 3,259.97 +2.18%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Food & Drug Retailers 3,765.04 -0.98%
Tobacco 34,755.21 -0.91%
Electricity 8,493.33 -0.60%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities 5,057.16 -0.35%
Mobile Telecommunications 3,974.34 -0.35%