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Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 reversed early gains to slip on Tuesday, hurt by a sell-off in mining shares, while midcap stocks dropped on lacklustre earnings and forecast releases. The blue-chip FTSE 100 dipped 0.2% by 9:24 GMT, while the midcap index FTSE 250 edged 0.4% lower.

Precious metal miners slipped 0.8%, while industrial metal miners closely followed with a 0.9% fall as copper prices dipped ahead of money supply data from top consumer China and US inflation numbers this week.

Meanwhile, industry data showed British retailers reported tepid sales around Christmas, which may add to concerns that the economy has tipped into a mild recession.

Retailers index was down 0.8%, with JD Sports declining 2.1% and AO World down 2.3%, among others.

Oil and gas shares rose 0.5% as crude prices steadied after sliding nearly 3% in the previous session.

Industry major BP led gains on the energy index with a 1% rise, with Redburn Atlantic upgrading the stock to buy.

Automobiles and parts shares climbed 0.9%, leading sectoral gains.

In corporate news, shares of Hays fell 11.7% after the recruitment firm forecast lower-than-expected first-half profit and said the short-term outlook will remain challenging amid a hiring slowdown.

Precious metal miners drag FTSE 100 lower

“The sluggish global growth backdrop combined with tighter monetary policy has dampened business appetite to pile on additional fixed staffing costs (for Hays),” said Victoria Scholar, Head of Investment, interactive investor.

The broader industrial support services index dropped 1.1%, leading sectoral declines. Jupiter Fund Management shares tumbled 13.1% to the bottom of FTSE 250 after the company flagged higher-than-expected 2023 net outflows and announced the exit of veteran portfolio manager Ben Whitmore this summer.

UK housebuilder MJ Gleeson lost 10.0%, posting its biggest one-day drop since March 2020 on lower home sales in the half-year to Dec. 31.

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