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Britain's FTSE retreats from one-month peak, commodity-linked stocks weigh
February 16, 2017 / 10:34 AM / 8 months ago

Britain's FTSE retreats from one-month peak, commodity-linked stocks weigh

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* FTSE 100 down 0.4 pct

* Miners, energy shares fall

* Ex-divs weigh

* Cobham slumps after results

By Kit Rees

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent to 3.5 percent.

British mid-cap stocks, however, saw some dramatic results-driven moves. Engineering firm Cobham tumbled 20 percent 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 percent, after reporting a disappointing set of results, with its core annual earnings falling 17 percent 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 percent. The property and casualty insurer posted a better-than-expected 2016 profit, helped by lower expenses and higher gains in the final quarter. (Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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