Thursday, 14 December 2017

Britain’s FTSE hits 3-month low as miners wobble

STOCK

LONDON: Britain’s top share index dropped to a three-month low on Friday amid rising geopolitical tensions, with financials, miners and energy firms the biggest weights among blue chips.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index ended the session 1.1 percent lower at 7,309.96, its worst week since March.

Drops among cyclical sectors weighed on the index, with heavyweight miners Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Glencore all dropping between 2.9 to 3.1 percent, among the biggest fallers on the index as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea hit riskier assets, including metals prices

The broader UK mining sector fell 2.7 percent.

Among the early risers, soft drinks bottler Coca Cola HBC jumped as much as 2.5 percent and touched a fresh record high after several brokers upped their price targets for the stock, following a strong set of results in the previous session which saw the firm’s shares soar more than 9 percent.

Coca Cola HBC shares gave up those early gains to end the session flat, however.

“The business is in a sweet-spot, delivering volume improvement, strong price/mix and operating leverage,” analysts at Credit Suisse said in a note.

“We take comfort that many of the smaller markets are growing strongly, offsetting declines in the key markets Italy, Russia (weather impact) and Nigeria (price increases),” they added.

UK mid cap stocks also came under pressure, falling 0.8 percent as shares in Dixons Carphone (Frankfurt: CWB.F – news) slumped more than 7 percent to its lowest level since the aftermath of the Brexit vote last June, driven down by a double downgrade from a star broker.

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