* FTSE 100 falls 0.4 pct, ends 6-day winning run
* Fall at HSBC takes most points off the index
* Vodafone at 13-year high after Verizon Wireless deal
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Feb 24 British shares fell on Monday,
ending a six-day winning run and weighed down by HSBC
after the bank posted disappointing earnings and warned of
volatility in emerging markets.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down by 0.4
percent, or 26.12 points, at 6,811.94 in mid-session trading.
A 3.7 percent fall in HSBC took the most points off the
FTSE, after the bank posted lower-than-expected profits and
warned about uncertain times for emerging markets, which have
been hit by unrest in Ukraine and currency slumps in Argentina
"There are concerns about corporate earnings. We've had
disappointing results from HSBC which is dragging the index
down," said Mike Franklin, chief investment strategist at
Worries about emerging markets also hurt miners, with the UK
mining index falling 1.2 percent as some media
reports in China stoked fears that local banks had begun
tightening loans to property developers and some other sectors
such as steel, cement and construction.
The FTSE 100 rose 14.4 percent in 2013 to post its best
annual gain since 2009. The index is up by around 1 percent
since the start of 2014, recovering from a fall in January
caused by the downturn in emerging market economies.
Cushioning the broader market's losses on Monday was a 2.5
percent rise at mobile telecoms group Vodafone, which
hit a 13-year high on speculation the company might become a bid
target after its deal to sell its stake in U.S. operator Verizon
Wireless to U.S. peer Verizon.
Analysts said Vodafone's stake sale is set to prompt the
largest capital return in corporate history, which should bring
in fresh cash for major pension funds which own Vodafone shares
and could use that cash to re-invest in the FTSE.
Beaufort Securities' Franklin remained confident the FTSE
would soon be able to hit the 6,900 point level and later
challenge making a record high of 7,000 points.
However, JNF Capital trader Rick Jones said that in the
short term, he expected the FTSE to consolidate around current
levels, pointing to the fact that the index was in technically
The FTSE 100 currently has a relative strength indicator
(RSI) reading on a 9-day basis of just over 70. If a market has
an RSI above 70, it indicates it is technically "overbought"
while under 30 shows it is technically "oversold".
"The market looks a bit overbought right now, we might be
running out of steam," said Jones.