May 22, 2018 / 9:21 AM / in 5 months

Britain's FTSE builds on record as financials, miners advance

(For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon news window)

* FTSE 100 up 0.2 pct, hits new record

* Weak dollar boosts miners

* Pain for retailers as Halfords, Pets at Home shares drop

By Kit Rees

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) - The UK’s top share index ventured further into new territory on Tuesday as shares in financials rose and miners were buoyed by a weaker dollar, though a number of smaller British retailers suffered after giving updates.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.2 percent by 0902 GMT, hitting a fresh record level of 7,887.23 points earlier in the session.

Sentiment towards risk assets has improved since the United States and China agreed to continue talks to boost U.S. exports to China, easing worries over a possible global trade war.

“The FTSE benefits from a smooth ... trade outlook between the United States and China,” Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index, said.

“Its components are middlemen between these two major powers: the mining companies, the multinationals and others, they really rely on ... smooth trade relations to operate at an optimum,” Odeluga added.

A rise in HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays shares helped boost the index, while a weaker dollar fuelled demand for miners including Glencore, BHP Billiton and Fresnillo, which rose between 0.3 percent to 2.4 percent.

But while moves among large caps ranged between a fall of 1.1 percent and a rise of 2.4 percent, the UK’s mid cap index , saw a number of large stock jumps and falls. The index itself edged up 0.3 percent.

Shares in sandwich maker Greencore surged 9.5 percent following some well-received half-year earnings. However, shares in Halfords slipped 11 percent to their lowest since the beginning of April after the company warned on profit amid a step-up in investment in the business.

“Not a bad performance amid a pretty tough retail environment but the lack of meaningful guidance for 2019 has rattled the market,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said.

“Profits ‘broadly in line’ with 2018 is not particularly positive and the market probably also wants to see some more detail from Graham Stapleton after four months in charge,” Wilson added, referring to Halfords’ new CEO.

Results also weighed on Pets at Home, which fell nearly seven percent as lower margins weighed on full-year profit. The company has been trying to cut prices to fend off German rival Zooplus.

Elsewhere Inmarsat dropped 11.8 percent on the back of concerns that its monopoly in maritime safety communications could come under threat from rival Iridium Communications . (Reporting by Kit Rees, Editing by William Maclean)

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