Miners and banks weigh on FTSE 100, causing it to drop.

The FTSE 100 index had a weak start, posting its poorest opening in three weeks, as industrial miners and lenders dragged it down.

However, Whitbread’s announcement of a solid quarterly profit propelled the travel and leisure sector up by 0.1pc and made it the top performer in the index. Nonetheless, the blue-chip index still declined by 0.4pc, while the FTSE 250 midcap fell 0.5pc.

Banks were the hardest hit, losing 1.7pc in early trading. Industrial miners also struggled, losing 2.1pc due to declining copper prices, which were attributed to sluggish demand from China.

Although Anglo American had a 9pc increase in overall first-quarter production, its shares were down 1.9pc in line with the broader market.

Meanwhile, Associated British Foods saw a 6.2pc loss after it reported a 3pc decline in first-half profit and maintained its guidance for a flat outcome in the full year. On the other hand, the UK recorded a budget deficit of £21.5bn in March, exceeding expectations.

The UK government’s borrowing for the entire 2022-23 financial year was £139.2bn, which is lower than the forecasts made by the Office for Budget Responsibility in March.

This provides a positive start for the government at the beginning of the new financial year. Despite the second-highest borrowing number for March since records began in 1993, borrowing was still £13.2bn less than the OBR’s prediction. However, revenues were £4.1bn below the OBR’s forecasts, indicating that economic performance was not as strong as expected.

The ONS reported that the public sector’s net worth was in a deficit of £605.8bn by the end of March. Additionally, public sector net borrowing for March was £21.5bn, which is £16.3bn higher than in March 2022 and the second-highest March borrowing since monthly records began in 1993.

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