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* FTSE 100 down 0.6 pct
* Energy sector under pressure on OPEC meeting doubts
* Housebuilders rally on strong mortgage data
* TalkTalk recovers from recent weakness
By Peter Hobson and Alistair Smout
LONDON, Nov 29 Britain's top share index fell on
Tuesday, underperforming other European markets as energy and
mining stocks were hit by weaker oil and metals prices.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which is more heavily
weighted towards commodity-related stocks than continental
European indexes, was down 0.6 percent in morning trading.
Signs that leading oil exporters were struggling to agree a
deal to cut production to reduce global oversupply ahead of a
meeting on Wednesday pushed Brent crude down 1.6 percent, while
copper, gold, iron ore and steel also fell.
That pushed the FTSE mining stocks index and
the oil and gas index down 1.9 percent and 1.5
"(With) continued production cut brinkmanship from both OPEC
and Russia, scepticism is still rife about whether tomorrow's
official OPEC meeting in Vienna will be a success," said Mike
van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.
Mining companies Fresnillo, Antofagasta
and Randgold Resources were the biggest fallers, down by
between 2.3 percent and 3 percent. Shares in BP dropped
1.6 percent while Royal Dutch Shell slipped 1.4
Aberdeen Asset Management fell 4.4 percent, after
losing nearly 4 percent on Monday after its results, as RBC cut
its target price on the stock. Other stocks with emerging
markets exposure also came under pressure.
But banks stabilised after Monday's fall, with Barclays
rising 1.4 percent, even though Asia-exposed HSBC and
Standard Chartered were flat.
Homebuilders Barratt Development, Persimmon
and Taylor Wimpey also rose, gaining between 1.4 percent
and 2.8 percent after Bank of England data showed mortgage
approvals were stronger than expected in October.
Mid-cap stocks, which are less exposed to swings in
commodity prices, rose. The FTSE 250 was up 0.1 percent.
Shares in broadband company TalkTalk rebounded 4.3
percent after touching a four-year low on Monday, as Britain's
telecoms regulator said it would try to force BT to
legally separate its Openreach network infrastructure division
into a legally separate entity.
This move would benefit smaller broadband firms such as
TalkTalk as it would "allow them to see whether they have been
paying over the odds for access to the UK's copper and fibre
optic network," van Dulken said.
TalkTalk shares had fallen by a quarter over eight straight
sessions after results earlier in the month, but have been up
for the last three days. BT fell in early deals, but was last
Mid-cap food service company SSP Group jumped 6.7
percent after reporting stronger revenues and profits.
(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Susan Fenton)