* FTSE 100 down 0.4 percent
* Barratt hit by Liberum downgrade
* British Airways owner IAG regains poise
By Andrew Winterbottom
LONDON, July 18 British shares lost more ground
on Friday as concerns about the situation in Ukraine undermined
demand for risk assets, with housebuilder Barratt topping the
fallers' list after an analyst downgrade.
The FTSE 100 index was down 0.4 percent at 6,708.47
points by 0843 GMT. It had dropped 0.7 percent on Thursday when
investors already jittery about U.S. moves to target big Russian
firms with new sanctions, were met with news that a passenger
plane had been shot down over eastern Ukraine.
Safe-haven stocks were among the top gainers, including
cigarette maker Imperial Tobacco, consumer goods group
Reckitt Benckiser and water utility Severn Trent.
"We were buying the dips up until the plane crash. We are
now a bit cautious and will not be taking new positions going
into the weekend," said Mark Ward, head of trading at Sanlam
Barratt Developments fell 3.1 percent, with traders
citing the impact of a Liberum downgrade to "hold" from "buy",
largely on valuation grounds.
Liberum analysts were relatively sanguine on the sector as a
whole, however, finding "little to be afraid of" after looking
at mortgage availability, mortgage regulation and rate rises as
the most obvious threats.
British Airways owner IAG, which had fallen with
the broader market in the previous session as news of the plane
crash in Ukraine emerged, was also among the top risers, gaining
"It's really just a case of overreaction to the news and
bargain hunting is going on today," said Matt Basi, head of
sales at CMC Markets.
British Airways said on Thursday that it was keeping its
once-a-day route between Heathrow airport and Kiev under review.
From a technical viewpoint, Craig Erlam, analyst at Alpari,
said it is very difficult to be bullish on the FTSE 100.
"Should we break below last Thursday's lows of 6,643 ... it
would further confirm the index as being in a downtrend."
(Editing by Catherine Evans)