Metal miners lift UK stocks amid lingering Fed rate cut hopes

By Shashwat Chauhan and Shubham Batra

(Reuters) -London stocks rose on Tuesday, boosted by gains in precious and industrial metal miners that tracked higher commodity prices, and persisting hopes of interest rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.3%, while the FTSE 250 midcap index added 0.5%.

Precious metal miners topped the charts to gain 2.1% after gold prices advanced as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields slipped, while industrial metal miners rose 1.3% after copper prices climbed on tightening supplies. [GOL/] [MET/L]

“Since the Fed indicated that they are considering (rate) cuts, you have seen the dollar weak and commodity prices rallying” said Patrick Armstrong, Chief Investment Officer at Plurimi Wealth.

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said cuts to the U.S. central bank’s benchmark rate are likely to be appropriate next year because of an improvement in inflation this year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Meanwhile, Bank of England Deputy Governor Sarah Breeden said she had no pre-determined path for interest rates in mind but that it would be important for policy to stay at restrictive levels to keep inflation pressure in check.

Keeping a lid on gains, the personal goods sector index dipped 0.8% after shares of Burberry slid to the bottom of the FTSE 100, falling 2.0%, as Jefferies cut its target price.

Focus will remain on economic data, leading with the UK and U.S. inflation prints this week.

Data on Wednesday is expected to show headline inflation in Britain running at 4.4% year-on-year in November against last month’s reading of 4.6%.

Among individual stocks, Superdry dropped 17.5% after the British fashion retailer flagged a hit to annual profits as sales were “significantly below” the management’s expectations.

De La Rue kept its annual forecast unchanged and reported half-year profit in line with its expectations. Shares of the banknote maker fell 4.8%.

(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan, Shubham Batra and Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Janane Venkatraman and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)