* FTSE 100 down 0.4 pct
* Rolls Royce, Tate & Lyle and Lloyds all give poor guidance
* Index falls after six straight sessions of gains
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Feb 13 Britain's top share index fell on
Thursday to end its longest winning streak of the year, led down
by engineer Rolls Royce and sugar maker Tate & Lyle, which gave
Sugar and sweetener manufacturer Tate & Lyle was
the top faller in percentage terms, down 15.5 percent after it
scaled back its full-year outlook, citing weak sales volume in
Fellow European consumer staple Nestle also fell
after giving a caution on outlook, further denting sentiment
towards the sector. FTSE 350 Food producers dropped
1.5 percent, the top sectoral faller, and no stock was in
Trimming the most points off the FTSE 100 was Rolls
Royce, which fell 11.4 percent to knock 10 points off the
Although the engineer's profit rise beat forecasts, its
forward outlook was disappointing, saying it expected 2014
profits to be flat on the back of declining defence and marine
The downgraded outlooks cast doubt on a much hoped-for
earnings recovery this year, which many analysts were depending
on to fuel strong stock market gains this year.
Of FTSE 100 companies that have reported quarterly earnings
so far, 39 percent have missed expectations.
"I thought we were probably going to have to beat earnings
just to hold steady on the FTSE 100, so given the misses we're
seeing, I'm not surprised we're lower," Toby Morris, senior
sales trader at CMC Markets, said.
"We got ahead of ourselves at the back-end of last year, and
reports are going to be scrutinised a lot more," he said, citing
the banking sector as under particular pressure.
Lloyds fell 3.8 percent even after its return to
profit, with traders citing disappointing guidance for the bank,
media scrutiny over its bonuses and a strong run-up which saw it
hit five year highs in January after gaining 65 percent in 2013.
"The regulatory environment remains austere, the level of
competition in the industry is increasing and the ongoing growth
in the return on capital number will remain under pressure,"
Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
The FTSE 100 was down 29.92 points, or 0.5 percent,
to 6,645.11 at 0850 GMT, snapping a streak of six straight days
On Wednesday, the index opened strongly, only to give away
almost all of its gains in afternoon trade, in from a technical
analysis perspective often indicates that a rally is running out