London stocks subdued as broader gains offset fall in BP; Powell's testimony in focus

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(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 was muted on Tuesday, as a decline in shares of energy firm BP was offset by broader gains, while investors waited for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell‘s testimony before the U.S. Congress.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up 0.1%, while the mid-cap FTSE 250, in the limelight following the Labour Party’s election win, was down 0.1% at 0725 GMT.

The energy sector weighed with a 0.7% decline, pulled down by a 2.4% loss in BP. The oil giant fell to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after warning about a hit to its second-quarter earnings from lower realised refining margins and weak oil trading.

Precious and industrial metal miners rose 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively, in tandem with gold and copper prices. [GOL/] [MET/L]

Investors were cautious ahead of Fed Chair Powell’s two-day testimony before the Congress, which comes against the backdrop of soft labour market data increasing bets of a September rate cut.

“Investors are waiting for big figures due later this week in the US that might give some impetus to the market. Partly it’s the dearth of earnings, (so) there’s nothing to drive the market,” Nick Saunders, CEO at trading platform Webull UK said.

U.S. consumer prices index figures and Britain’s GDP are due later in the week and could influence the future trajectories of interest rate cuts in the economies.

In corporate news, Indivior Plc plummeted 36.7% after the drugmaker said it would cut about 130 jobs and lowered its profit forecast for the year.

Recruiter PageGroup tumbled 11.2% to the bottom of the FTSE 250 after warning of lower annual profit, citing weaker-than-expected hiring in June and a more cautious view for the second half of the year.

(Reporting by Purvi Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)