London’s blue chip index opened 25.7 points lower at 6,910.54 on Tuesday morning ahead of the release of July’s inflation figures.

The consumer price index, retail price index and producer price index will all be available from 09:30 for the market to help draw a picture of how the vote for Brexit is affecting the UK economy. Consensus believes that the level will remain at 0.5%, but with a weakening pound some market commentators would not be surprised if the cost of a basket of goods and services had risen slightly to 0.6% during the month.

Elsewhere, reports of hints in Russia that OPEC is working on a deal to freeze oil production has boosted commodity stocks.

Rio Tinto (RIO) rises 2.3% to £24.92 on the news, while Randgold Resources (RRS), Anglo American (AAL) and commodity trader and miner Glencore (GLEN) improve by 1.7% to £87.05, 1.3% to 884.4p and 1% to 194.4p, respectively.

The news helped lift BHP Billiton (BLT) by 2.1% to £10.64, despite posting a $6.2 billion loss for the year to 30 June. It remains on track to meet its two-year target to cut $2.2 billion of costs by the end of June 2017.

But there was good news for copper miner Antofagasta (ANTO). The Chilean company improves 3.1% to 530p on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rising 2.3% to $571.6 million. This came despite the price of copper falling and was the result of cost-cutting.

Energy services group John Wood (WG.) rises 1.5% to 740.5p on securing a $700 million contract on a project in Kazakhstan. This offsets a 36% slide in pre-tax profits in the six months to 30 June, a result of depressed commodity prices.

In other news, construction group Balfour Beatty (BBY) advances 2.6% to 243.6p on securing a $697 million contract to help lay the foundations for high speed trains to operate between San Francisco and San Jose.

Automotive retail and leasing group Marshall Motor (MMH:AIM) speeds 8% higher to 163.5p on record half-year results driven by like-for-like improvements and contributions from recent acquisitions. CEO Daksh Gupta says 'the strategic acquisition of Ridgeway and completion of the integration of SGS leaves the group well positioned for further long term growth' and also flags 'significant balance sheet capacity' with which Marshall can execute its ambitious growth strategy.


Issue Date: 16 Aug 2016