U.K. stocks edged higher Tuesday, with gains for miners helping set the market on the path of recovery after a selloff on North Korea tensions.
The FTSE 100 UKX, +0.28% rose 0.3% to 7,430.67. All sectors advanced, led by the basic materials and utilities groups. On Monday, the index on Monday fell 0.4%, with markets throughout Europe and Asia rattled after North Korea carried out a significantly larger nuclear test than before. U.S. stock markets were closed Monday for the Labor Day bank holiday.
But on Tuesday, investors seemed to be making flight-to-safety moves. The Japanese yen USDJPY, -0.17% and the Swiss franc USDCHF, +0.1878% , both perceived as less-risky assets, moved higher against the U.S. dollar DXY, +0.08% .
“As the U.S. returns from Labor Day, market sentiment remains cautious, with tensions over North Korea still at the forefront of traders’ minds,” said Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets.
“The U.S. is looking for the UN to take a hard line with North Korea, whilst in the immediate proximity South Korea continues to prepare for military maneuver,” he said in a note.
Miners move higher: In London, mining shares rose after upbeat economic data out of China, a big buyer of industrial and precious metals. The Caixin China services purchasing managers’ index rose to 52.7 in August from 51.5 in July.
Shares of Anglo American PLC AAL, +0.88% gained 1.1%, iron ore heavyweight BHP Billiton PLC BLT, +0.77% BHP, +1.52% BHP, +0.51% advanced 0.8%, and Rio Tinto PLC RIO, +0.66% RIO, +0.92% RIO, +0.65% tacked on 0.6%.
Stock movers: Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC RB., -1.43% shares lost 1.5% after the consumer-goods company said four of its senior executives are leaving. The exodus is unusually large, given the company is absorbing its biggest-ever acquisition and dealing with various headwinds.
Admiral Group PLC shares ADM, -0.26% fell 0.4% after a ratings downgrade of the insurer to sell from hold at Berenberg. “Although Admiral’s [first half] 2017 results were in line with consensus, we thought the results highlighted some concerning trends for earnings,” said Berenberg analyst Iain Pearce.
On the mid-cap FTSE 250, shares of Aveva Group PLC AVV, +24.74% jumped 24% as French industrial group Schneider Electric SE SU, +0.58% reached a deal to take control of British engineering software maker.
Data: A reading on U.K. services activity in August will be released at 9:30 a.m. London time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The pound GBPUSD, -0.0696% was buying $1.2917 ahead of the data, compared with $1.2932 late Monday in New York.