May 25, 2017 / 10:43 AM / 2 years ago

British shares stagnate near highs as new catalysts awaited

(ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon, see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)

* FTSE 100 little changed

* Commodity stocks fall after OPEC meeting

* 3I Group top gainer after price target upgrade

* Intermediate Capital, GVC rise after results

* Petrofac slumps as COO suspended amid probe

* Live markets: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, May 25 (Reuters) - British shares were little changed on Thursday as investors sought fresh catalysts after a run that brought the country’s main indexes to hit record highs.

Data showing that Britain’s economy slowed more than previously thought in the first three months of 2017 pushed sterling lower while the FTSE - which benefits from a weaker currency - came off earlier lows.

By 1023 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent, shy of a record high hit last week, as weakness among commodity stocks was more than offset by stronger financials and consumer stocks.

Materials and energy stocks were the biggest weight, taking a combined 3 points off the FTSE, with miners such as Rio Tinto , Anglo American and Glencore all lower. Oil major BP also weighed, falling 0.5 percent.

The biggest moves in the sector were among mid caps.

Tanzania-focused miner Acacia Mining was under pressure for a second day, down 11 percent, after the country’s mining minister was fired on Wednesday following an investigation into possible undeclared exports by miners to evade tax.

Petrofac was the biggest faller on the FTSE 250 , down 28 percent, after suspending its chief operating officer Marwan Chedid amid a fraud investigation.

Commodity stocks fell as copper prices steadied and oil prices remained lower after an OPEC delegate said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had decided to extend cuts in oil output by nine months to March 2018 in an attempt to drain a global glut that has depressed markets.

Among top FTSE gainers was 3I Group, which rose 2.3 percent after a broker lifted the price target on the private equity and venture capital company.

Some mid cap companies reported results on Thursday.

Intermediate Capital Group soared 11.5 percent after its full-year results, and GVC Holdings rose by 3 percent after a first-quarter update.

Media group Daily Mail and General Trust fell 7 percent, set for its biggest one-day loss in more than a year after its first-half results disappointed. (Editing by Ed Osmond)

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