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News: BHP UPDATE 2-London's FTSE 100 ends flat as miners weigh; Ibstock tops FTSE 250

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    (For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

    • Anglo American at bottom of FTSE 100 on output downgrade
    • Brick maker Ibstock tops FTSE 250 after upbeat outlook
    • FTSE 100 ends flat, FTSE 250 adds 0.4%

    (Updates to close)

    London's FTSE 100 pared losses to end flat on Wednesday as gains in cyclical and energy stocks countered underwhelming production updates from mining companies, while gains in airline stocks and brick maker Ibstock helped the midcap index stay afloat.

    The blue-chip index .FTSE ended flat, with consumer staple names Unilever ULVR.L , Diageo DGE.L , British American Tobacco BATS.L and oil majors Shell SHEL.L and BP BP.L among top gainers.

    Countering them, mining stocks .FTNMX551020 fell 5.1%, led by a 8.8% decline in Anglo American AAL.L after the company lowered its production outlook due to inflation.

    "The earnings season is probably the focus at the minute," said Ian Williams, economist and strategist at Peel Hunt.

    "With wage costs and raw material costs going up as well as supply chain disruptions ... the risk to earnings forecast is very much from the cost line rather than the revenue line."

    BHP Group BHPB.L fell 2.5% after the world's largest listed miner reported weaker-than-expected iron ore production for the March quarter due to a pandemic-related labour crunch.

    Antofagasta ANTO.L lost 7.1% as the Chilean miner's first-quarter copper production fell 24% year-on-year to 138,800 tonnes, hit by continued drought and lower grades.

    Meanwhile, Bank of England interest rate-setter Catherine Mann said borrowing costs would probably have to rise further as consumer demand is unlikely to fall soon enough to stop businesses from pushing through price increases.

    "We're in a bit of a no man's land currently waiting for more guidance on central bank monetary policy," Williams said.

    The domestically focused midcap FTSE 250 index .FTMC rose 0.4%, with Wizz Air WIZZ.L and easyJet EZJ.L climbing 4.4% and 4.9%, respectively, in the wake of an upbeat outlook from U.S. peer United Airlines.

    Ibstock IBST.L jumped 8.8% as the company forecast full-year performance ahead of its expectations.

    Pest control services provider Rentokil Initial RTO.L gained 1.8% on strong current-quarter momentum.

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