* FTSE 100 index falls 0.2 percent
* BT falls on Sky's plan to launch new sports channel
* Growth-sensitive stocks among top decliners
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, June 10 Britain's top share edged lower
on Tuesday after coming close to a record high in the previous
session, with telecom operator BT Group falling sharply
following news of rising competition in the sector.
BT Group fell 2.2 percent, the biggest decliner on
the blue-chip FTSE 100 index, after news that Britain's
largest pay-TV company BSkyB will launch a television
channel dedicated to European football.
Customers with Sky Sports will be able to receive the new
channel, Sky Sports 5, as part of their sports package at no
extra cost and get two years' free broadband connection, Sky
Sports said on its website.
"It's bad for BT, in terms of potential erosion of current
rate of customer acquisition, which had been benefiting from
free sports with broadband," said Mike van Dulken, head of
research at Accendo Markets.
"With Sky now countering this with a free broadband for
existing customers, BT may see less Sky customers jumping ship
in the 2014/15 season before it begins broadcasting the
all-important Champions League in 2015/16."
Commodity-related stocks including oil firms and miners,
combined with financials and telecoms, took about 17 points off
the benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was down 12.79 points, or
0.2 percent, at 6,862.21 by 1519 GMT. The index is less than 2
percent off its all-time high, set in December 1999.
The pullback kept the FTSE 100 in the 130-point range it has
traded in since the beginning of May, at a time when other
indexes including the S&P 500 and Germany's DAX
have pushed on to new all-time highs.
"We have seen a very strong performance over the course of
the past few months and it is understandable that investors are
nervous in the short term as valuations are no longer cheap as
they used to be and U.S. stimulus is gradually being withdrawn,"
said Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Wealth.
"But the market's outlook remains positive in the medium- to
longer-term term. Earnings growth still remains very strong and
that should be supportive for valuations. We believe in the
strength and speed of the economic recovery."
Among other fallers, Sports Direct dropped 1.3
percent after Goldman Sachs removed it from its "conviction buy"
list, citing its recent strong performance. It has gained 65
percent since last June, but is still about 33 percent below
Goldman's target price of 1,100 pence.
"We remove Sports Direct from our Conviction List as the
upside to our target price is now lower following a period of
good performance," analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote.
"We have higher conviction elsewhere in the European retail
sector as a result."
(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Andrew