London Close: Weak miners drag FTSE 100 lower; AB Foods soars on earnings beat

The FTSE 100 was held back on Tuesday by declines in mining and oil stocks, though the index ultimately eked out a small gain thanks to upbeat results from companies like AB Foods.

The blue-chip index closed down 7.72 points, or 0.1%, at 7,410.04. The FTSE 250 ended up 14.24 points, or 0.1%, at 17,761.71, and the AIM All-Share closed up 0.75 of a point, at 698.63.

Weighing on the blue-chip index were miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore, which dropped 3.5%, 3.4% and 2.4% respectively amid weak China trade data. Oil giants BP and Shell also declined 2.1% and 1.8% on weaker crude prices.

However, the FTSE 100 was lifted by strong earnings reports.

AB Foods was the top gainer, soaring 6.8% after profits jumped 25% last year. The Primark owner also announced a new £500 million share buyback programme.

Insurer Beazley gained 7.1% after reporting a 26% increase in premiums over the first nine months of the year.

Among smaller companies, XP Power surged 28% after raising £43.9 million through a share placing. It plans to use the funds to cut debt and invest in R&D.

Meanwhile, Naked Wines plunged 36% after the online wine seller warned its full-year sales decline will be worse than previously expected.