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* FTSE 100 index down 0.1 pct
* Micro Focus falls after downgrade
* Miners track weaker metals prices
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Dec 16 Britain's top share index edged
down on Friday after hitting a seven-week high the previous day,
with IT firm Micro Focus falling after a rating
downgrade and Antofagasta tracking weaker industrial
The blue-chip FTSE 100 was last down 0.1 percent
after climbing on Thursday to 7,010.48 points, its highest level
since late October. The index has gained 0.7 percent so far this
year, after climbing 3.3 percent last week.
"Appetite above 7,000 appears to be limited," said Ipek
Ozkardeskaya, analyst at London Capital Group. "Yet the cheaper
pound and the recovery in oil prices could give a hand to the
bulls and clear the way for a positive close."
Micro Focus International, the British firm buying
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co's software business, fell
2.6 percent after UBS cut its rating on the stock to "neutral"
from "buy" and lowered its target price to 2350 pence from 2420
"Notwithstanding H1's good results and a $400 million
planned Return of Value, we see the upside for the shares as
limited now. We see several risks in 2017," UBS analysts said.
"MCRO's cash flow, meanwhile, is likely to show the effects
of significant legal and advisory fees related to the deal ahead
of its closing, and restructuring commitments are likely to be a
feature thereafter," they said in a note.
Miners came under pressure after prices of major industrial
metals slipped on a stronger dollar, which generally makes
commodities costlier for holders of other currencies.
Shares in Antofagasta, BHP Billiton and
Anglo American fell 0.7 percent to 1.8 percent, pushing
the UK mining index 0.5 percent lower.
Dixons Carphone, Britain's largest electricals and
mobile phone retailer, beat forecasts with a 19 percent rise in
first-half profit on Wednesday. But its shares fell 2.5 percent
after HSBC cut its target price for the stock to 450 pence from
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)