European Stocks Fall as Mining Shares Slip

Frankfurt (Mar 15)   European stocks fell on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan disappointed investors looking for further monetary stimuli and as Federal Reserve policy makers prepared to begin a two-day meeting.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.87% at 6,120.75 as mining shares led by Antofagasta (ANFGY)  and global leaders BHP Billiton (BHP)  and Rio Tinto (RIO)  slipped amid falling prices of oil, gold, silver and copper. In Frankfurt, the DAX dropped 0.72% to 9,917.95 and in Paris the CAC 40 fell 0.70% to 4,472.18.

S&P 500 futures slipped 0.52%.

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As the Federal Open Market Committee begins its meeting Tuesday, the focus in the U.S. will be on February's retail sales figures, which are to be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Expectations point to a slight month-on-month decline, or a stagnation at best.

Insurer and fund manager Legal & General Group (LGGNF)  dropped more than 4% after posting a 10% increase in full-year pretax profit and declaring itself well-placed to see off external challenges. Its solvency ratio, under new Solvency II rules, came in at 169%, below that of rivals Aviva and Prudential.

J Sainsbury (JSAIY)  slipped after investors decided they were unconvinced by a better-than-expected 0.1% increase in fourth-quarter same-store sales and a 1.2% increase in total sales. The company is trying to buy Home Retail Group to add the Argos general merchandise business with its food retailing operations but faces competition from South Africa's Steinhoff International.

Online-only food retailer Ocado Group (OCDGF)  was up close to 8% after reporting a 15.3% increase in quarterly sales to £312.4 million.

Chilean copper miner Antofagasta plunged more than 7% in London after reporting full-year results including a 34% decline in revenue to just under $3.4 billion and a more than 58% decrease in Ebitda to $890.7 million. The company said it's targeting savings of $160 million this year and will pare back capital expenditure to $1 billion from $1.05 billion. It also expects copper prices to rebound from late 2017 or early 2018 and to stabilize before that.

Patrick Drahi's cable company Altice (ALLVF) was down close to 5% in Amsterdam after it reported full-year results and noted that free cash flow growth would be crimped in 2016 by accelerated investment. It expects higher 2016 revenue and mid-single digit growth in adjusted Ebitda in 2016.

Asian stock indices were mixed.

The Nikkei 225 closed down 0.68% at 17,117.07 as the yen rose following the Bank of Japan's decision not to expand a bumper package of monetary boosters after it pushed rates in negative territory in January. The Topix closed down 0.57% at 1,372.08.

In China, the CSI 300 composite index edged up 0.30% to 3,074.78. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 0.72% to 20,288.77.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.43% to close at 5,111.43.

Source: TheStreet