London Markets: FTSE 100 slips; miners drop, Smith & Nephew gains

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) — U.K. stocks fell Friday, with drop in mining shares putting the FTSE 100 in line for its first loss in four days.

The benchmark index /quotes/zigman/3173262/realtime UK:UKX -0.24%  fell 0.2% to 6,858.14, paring its weekly decline to 0.6%. It’s facing a 1.1% for May, during which it reached its best closing level since 1999.

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Miners were ranked among the session’s sharpest decliners, as iron-ore prices slumped and the metal looked set to log its sixth monthly loss for a record run of declines. With iron ore below $ 96 per ton, the move “will make some names in the resource sector unhappy,” wrote Scott Schuberg, chief executive at Australia-based Rivkin Securities, in a note Friday.

Anglo American PLC shares /quotes/zigman/470624/realtime UK:AAL -3.40%  slid 3.4%, their heaviest fall in nearly two months. Rio Tinto PLC /quotes/zigman/155899/realtime UK:RIO -2.95% fell 2.9% and BHP Billiton PLC /quotes/zigman/184879/realtime UK:BLT -2.58%   /quotes/zigman/270355/delayed/quotes/nls/bhp BHP +1.07%  lost 2.6%. Silver and gold producer Fresnillo PLC /quotes/zigman/510593/realtime UK:FRES -2.46%  also traded down, by 2.6%.

But Smith & Nephew PLC /quotes/zigman/263642/realtime UK:SN +2.53%  shares again topped the FTSE 100 as they rose 2.4%. The shares have jumped nearly 10% since Wednesday on speculation that the artificial-joint maker will land an acquisition bid. Medical-device maker Stryker Corp.’s /quotes/zigman/242189/delayed/quotes/nls/syk SYK +1.51%  chief told Fox Business on Thursday that his company had worked on a possible bid for its U.S. rival, but a formal offer hasn’t materialized.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the U.K. hit a nine-year high, according to polling firm GfK, highlighting the view that the British economy continues to improve.

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