November 7, 2013 / 9:11 AM / 4 years ago

Britain's FTSE edges lower as Schroders weighs before ECB

* FTSE 100 down 0.2 percent

* Schroders dips despite recording inflows

* Randgold surges post-results as cost-cutting progresses

* No rate cut seen at ECB, but other liquidity measures eyed

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Britain’s top share index edged lower in early deals on Thursday, led down by fund manager Schroders after its latest update but receiving support from a surge in Randgold as the earnings season continued to be mixed.

Trade was also cautious before central bank policy decisions later in the session.

Schroders fell 3.6 percent, the top FFTSE faller, after its interim management statement. Although the fund manager posted inflows, traders said good news was in the price for a stock that is up over 50 percent so far year to date.

“The results look positive but don’t appear to have been well received amongst the broker community, with Canaccord cutting its share price target to 25 pounds a share,” said Matt Basi, head of sales trading at CMC Markets.

The most dramatic mover however was Randgold Resources , the top FTSE riser. It surged as much as 7.5 percent after saying its plan to boost production and reduce costs was on track, with a strong start to a new Congolese mine, which also opened early, also supporting.

The miner traded 5.5 percent higher, despite a 19 percent drop in year-on-year profit. The poor comparative figure reflects a weakening gold price that has already knocked the miner by a quarter this year.

Randgold was the top riser on Britain’s FTSE 100, which was down 10.09 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,731.60 at 0844 GMT.

The FTSE has been in a tight range since reaching five- month highs last week, with the index stalling before it could surpass May peaks that were themselves 13-year highs.

“The FTSE 100 remains in a sideways 6715-6790 trend, potentially holding this range until tomorrow’s U.S. jobs data should central banks fail to deliver any fireworks today,” Mike van Dulken, head of reseach at Accendo Markets, said in a trading note.

The European Central Bank and Bank of England are both set to announce policy decisions later in the session, with pressure rising on the ECB to cut rates following weak inflation data last week.

“I think hopes that the ECB will cut interest rates is probably wishful thinking,” David Madden, market analyst at IG, said.

“However, if the ECB were to cut interest rates, or provide some sort liquidity to banks in the euro zone, we would see a boost for the FTSE, but not to the same extent as some of the regional indexes in France and Germany.”

Additional reporting by Tricia Wright; editing by Stephen Nisbet

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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