May 14, 2015 / 10:07 AM / 3 years ago

Britain's FTSE edges lower, miners weigh

* FTSE 100 down 0.1 pct, miners among top decliners

* Sainsbury, GlaxoSmithKline down as trade ex-divs

* 3i gains on positive earnings update

By Lionel Laurent and Atul Prakash

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index edged down on Thursday, broadly in line with European shares hit by a persistent bond-market sell-off, after a mixed bag of corporate earnings and weaker commodity prices.

The benchmark index was down 0.1 percent at 6,944.25 points by 0931 GMT. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index also fell 0.1 percent.

While Britain has not been immune to spreading jitters from the bond market sell-off, it has been supported so far by dovish statements from the Bank of England.

However, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Thursday it was possible that British interest rates will be higher in a year’s time, although the central bank would not raise them too soon and risk slowing the economy.

“U.S. and UK stocks appear to be preferred versus German stocks for now, mainly because any increases in interest rates in the U.S. and the UK aren’t imminent and on hold for now,” Peregrine & Black senior sales trader Markus Huber said. “Economic growth worries (are) hampering exporters.”

Several stocks went ex-dividend, including Sainsbury , down 2.2 percent, and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline , down 2 percent. UBS analysts also downgraded Glaxo to “neutral” from “buy”, saying company updates on cost structure had led them to cut earnings estimates.

Weaker commodities prices pushed energy and mining stocks including Royal Dutch Shell, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto more than 1 percent lower. The UK mining index fell more than 1 percent, while the oil and gas index slipped 0.6 percent.

There were more positive earnings updates from private-equity group 3i, whose stock rose 3.6 percent after it emerged from restructuring with a strong set of results.

Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Susan Thomas

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