Rio Tinto drop weighs on Britain's FTSE
LONDON Jan 17 (Reuters) - A drop by shares in mining heavyweight Rio Tinto on shock news that its CEO is to quit as it revealed 2012 results will be impacted by a massive charge weighed on Britain's leading stock index on Thursday.
Rio Tinto fell 2.4 percent, alone chopping nearly 4 points off the FTSE 100 index, as the global miner said its chief executive Tom Albanese would step down, to be replaced by Iron Ore unit Chief Executive Sam Walsh, and it would take a $14 billion non-cash impairment charge in its 2012 results due to problems in Mozambique and aluminium assets.
However, the blue chip index's falls were moderated by a rally from banks , following recent declines, as investors awaited more Q4 earnings from their U.S. peers.
Citigroup and Bank of America Corp. are scheduled to post numbers on Thursday, after both JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs beat forecasts on Wednesday.
At 0814 GMT, the UK blue chip index was down 0.54 points, or 0.02 percent at 6,103.44, holding above the key 6,100 level having fallen 0.2 percent on Wednesday.
Associated Foods was the biigest FTSE 100 riser, up 4.1 percent after it said group revenue in the first sixteen weeks was 10 percent ahead of last year, driven by a higher-than-expected 25 percent increase in sales at clothing retailer Primark. (Reporting by Jon Hopkins)