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FTSE dragged down by Wolseley, healthcare despite mining rebound

FTSE 100 down 0.8% at close, underperforms Europe.

Britain’s leading share index fell on Tuesday, with a rebound for the mining sector failing to offset the impact of a cut in revenue growth prospects from plumbing supplies group Wolseley and the ripple effect from a US healthcare sell-off.

The FTSE 100 index was down 0.8% at 5,909.24 points at its close, underperforming the broader pan-European FTSEurofirst 300.

Glencore led the mining sector higher and staged its biggest one-day gain, surging almost 17% after about a third of its market value was wiped out on Monday.

Sector peer Antofagasta rose 2.2%. The broader FTSE 350 mining index was up 2.9% and the materials sector, which contains FTSE 100 mining stocks, added 5.5 points to the benchmark index.

“Glencore is certainly the poster boy for this crisis in commodity stocks and we think that markets will continue to be volatile as concerns ricochet between China, deflation and US interest rate hikes,” Bestinvest managing director, Jason Hollands, said.

However, with only one more trading day before the end of the third quarter, fundamental change in overall investor sentiment looked unlikely as an emerging markets-driven commodities sell-off persisted.

“It’s a difficult environment for the market at the quarter-end … Institutional investors will be tidying their books up,” said Guy Foster, head of research at Brewin Dolphin. “It does seem like we are in a prolonged downturn for commodities.”

Wolseley shares were the worst performers in the FTSE 100, dropping 12.5% after the company lowered its revenue growth outlook. Its losses took 5.3 points off the FTSE 100.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts cut forecasts for Wolseley on expectations that its growth in the United States would be curbed in 2016 by weak industrial demand from the oil and gas sector and a strong US dollar, although they reiterated their “Buy” rating on the stock.

Drugmaker Shire also underperformed, down 3.1%, with rivals AstraZeneca, Novartis and Roche also weakening after a US biotechnology sell-off spread to Europe.

Pharmaceutical stocks took nearly 10 points off the FTSE 100. The STOXX 600 Europe healthcare index fell 1.8%.

US Democratic lawmakers on Monday attacked “massive” price rises for two heart drugs fromCanada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, which tumbled 16.5%.

The Nasdaq biotechnology index fell 6% on Monday, extending losses from last week when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticised drug pricing.

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