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UPDATE 2-Energy, mining stocks drag FTSE 100; Cineworld slides

 (For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
    * Cineworld slides after posting annual loss
    * Rio Tinto falls on class action lawsuit
    * FTSE 100 down 0.6%, FTSE 250 off 0.6%

 (Updates to close)
    By Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S
    March 25 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 ended lower on
Thursday on a slide in energy and mining stocks, while concerns
over renewed coronavirus lockdowns in Europe dented optimism for
a swift economic recovery.
    The blue-chip FTSE 100 index         ended 0.6% down, with
oil heavyweights BP Plc        and Royal Dutch Shell Plc
         falling 2.6% and 2.9% respectively, weighed by weaker
crude prices.       
    Miners including Rio Tinto        , Anglo American        ,
Glencore          and BHP          were among the biggest drags,
falling between 1.3% and 3.9%.
    "Investors seem increasingly concerned that the reopening of
the global economy is going to experience more setbacks, meaning
it is no longer a given that we'll see soaring commodities
demand," said Russ Mould, director at investment platform AJ
Bell.
    "The market was high on vaccine-inspired euphoria in late
2020, pricing in a lot of future earnings growth before it
happened. Now reality is sinking in that earnings forecasts
could turn out to be too optimistic."  
    The FTSE 100 and the mid-cap FTSE 250         indexes have
recovered more than 36% and 72%, respectively, from a
coronavirus-driven crash last year as investors bet on a
vaccine-led economic rebound. But a recent rise in coronavirus
cases has dampened sentiment. (Graphic: tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi)
    Meanwhile, Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said
he remained confident that Britain's economy was poised for a
quick bounce-back as the country races ahead with its
coronavirus vaccinations and restrictions are lifted.
            
    The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 fell 0.6%, weighed
down by consumer discretionary stocks.
    Cineworld          fell 7.6% to the bottom of the mid-cap
index, after saying it plans to ask shareholders to approve a
raise in its debt ceiling next month to allow it to borrow more
money to shore up its shattered finances, following a $3 billion
loss in 2020.             
    Rio Tinto         fell 1.3% after the largest minority
shareholder in miner's Mongolian copper project Oyu Tolgoi has
filed a class action lawsuit in New York, claiming the company
concealed massive cost overruns and delays.             

 (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S in Bengaluru;
Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Lisa Shumaker)
  
 
 
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