February 15, 2019 / 9:01 AM / 4 months ago

FTSE 100 steadies but discounted share sale mars Standard Life

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* FTSE 100 about flat

* FTSE 250 down 0.1 pct

* Plus500 drops after a Times report

* Standard Life Aberdeen dips on discounted offering

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s main stock index retreated on Friday as Standard Life Aberdeen slumped after a discounted stock issue, and the mid-cap online trading platform Plus500 slipped after a report that it may have “misled” investors over losses.

The FTSE 100 index was flat and the midcaps were 0.1 percent lower by 0840 GMT, as investors saw little change for the Brexit backdrop after British Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest defeat in parliament on Thursday.

Dragging on the main index was Standard Life Aberdeen , which slumped 5 percent after a share offering was priced at a discount.

Royal Bank of Scotland fell 1 percent after opening up following 2018 results.

Oil companies Shell and BP weakened. Brent crude oil prices fell from 2019 highs they hit earlier as economic concerns countered OPEC-led supply cuts

Helping cushion losses on the main index were dollar earners like British American Tobacco and Unilever, which gained on a weaker pound.

The FTSE 100 was still on course for a third week of gains after a string of upbeat earnings from the likes of AstraZeneca and hopes the U.S.-China trade dispute will be resolved.

On the midcap index, online trading platform Plus500 shares dropped 6 percent after the Times reported here that the company may not have informed investors about a $103 million hit from client trading in 2017.

Peers IG Group and CMC Markets also slipped on the report.

Outsourcer Capita advanced 5.4 percent, with a trader citing a Barclays rating upgrade for the rise. Premier Foods skidded 6.3 percent after dropping plans to sell its dessert brand, Ambrosia.

Restaurant Group, whose shares slumped in the last session after announcing a CEO departure, added 2.5 percent after a Berenberg rating upgrade. (Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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