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Britain's FTSE retreats from one-month peak

Written by Business World, on 16th Feb 2017. Posted in World

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Britain's top share index retreated from a one-month high on Thursday, weighed down by a fall among mining firms and those trading ex-dividend, while mid-cap engineer Cobham slumped after results.

The blue FTSE 100 index was down 0.4% at 7,272.58 points, in line with a broader decline among European indexes.

Falls among banks, oil & gas stocks and mining firms were the biggest weights, with shares in Anglo American and Antofagasta falling more than 2% as the price of copper eased.

Likewise a number of heavyweight companies dropped after trading without entitlement to their latest dividend payout, which included AstraZeneca, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Imperial Brands, all falling between 1.7% to 3.5%.

British mid-cap stocks, however, saw some dramatic results-driven moves. Engineering firm Cobham tumbled 20% and was on track for its worst day on record after reporting earnings.

Cobham took a 150 million pound sterling charge on a troubled contract with Boeing and downgraded its 2016 trading profit again.

Drax Group also fell, down more than 11%, after reporting a disappointing set of results, with its core annual earnings falling 17% on weaker power prices and the loss of revenue from a green energy scheme.

"Because we are in a situation where global economic growth is weaker than it has been ... there is a premium that is attached to growth companies," Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

"If those growth companies falter, then you can see a bit of doubt creeping into investors' minds and that can influence the share price."

However, a profit beat propelled Lancashire Holding's shares more than 9%. The property and casualty insurer posted a better-than-expected 2016 profit, helped by lower expenses and higher gains in the final quarter. (Reuters)

Source: www.businessworld.ie

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