* FTSE 100 down 0.2 pct
* BoE holds steady as rates debate heats up
* Coca-Cola HBC hurt by deterioration in Russian market
* Old Mutual weak post results but Rio Tinto helps FTSE
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Aug 7 Britain's top shares slipped on
Thursday, led down by bottler Coca-Cola HBC and insurer Old
Mutual on sobering results, although strong earnings from Rio
Tinto gave the market some support.
Coca-Cola HBC, the world's No. 2 bottler of
Coca-Cola drinks, sank 3.7 percent after warning that volumes
would fall for the rest of the year, citing a "sudden
deterioration" in Russia, its biggest market.
More broadly, investors were on edge over the possible
impact of tit-for-tat sanctions announced by Russia, introduced
after the West penalised it over suspicions that it has
supported pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine.
The FTSE 100 was down 11.42 points, or 0.2 percent, at
6,624.74 points by 1117 GMT, meaning the index has fallen some 3
percent since a peak seen at the end of July.
Some traders, however, felt the index had found a floor
around current levels for now.
"They're (investors are) still a bit nervous... but in the
short term it's fairly well priced in," Manoj Ladwa, head of
trading at TJM Partners, said.
The Bank of England kept interest rates at their record low
on Thursday, giving Britain's fast economic recovery more time
to build even as differences among its policymakers become more
The European Central Bank also left interest rates
Old Mutual was another big faller, off 2.5 percent
after foreign exchange headwinds dampened a headline jump in
profit, traders said.
But fellow insurer Aviva climbed 2.7 percent, the top
FTSE 100 riser, after unveiling a 4 percent rise in first-half
operating profit as its European and UK general insurance
businesses built on a strong start to the year.
The index also received support from Anglo-Australian miner
Rio Tinto, up 1.7 percent after reporting a 21 percent
rise in first-half profit, beating market forecasts.
The miner slashed capital spending and cut costs faster than
expected while ramping up iron ore output, prompting a rise that
contributed 2.8 points to the benchmark.
"'World Class' is the line CEO Sam Walsh is using to
describe the results and the proof is plain to see," said Evan
Lucas, analyst at IG. "The results beat on all major
Three-quarters of analysts with ratings on the stock believe
Rio Tinto is either a "buy" or "strong buy", Thomson Reuters
Starmine data showed.
(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Kevin