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REFILE-Miners drag Britain's FTSE away from 7-week highs
July 25, 2013 / 9:01 AM / 4 years ago

REFILE-Miners drag Britain's FTSE away from 7-week highs

(amends Miners ric to from )

* FTSE 100 down 18.41 points at 6,602.02

* Miners dip on earnings worries

* ARM falls after Broadcomm results

* No impact on market from in-line GDP reading

By David Brett

LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - Weakness in mining stocks following a weak update from Platinum miner Lonmin dragged Britain’s top share index away from seven-week highs early on Thursday.

By 0832 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 18.41 points at 6,602.02.

Miners fell 1.5 percent as investors took a cautious stance on the sector’s second quarter earnings prospects, pocketing gains of 3.6 percent over the last five days.

The threat of oversupply, cooling demand growth and stalled asset sales has cast a cloud over the sector’s heavyweights, with all except BHP Billiton set to report big profit drops for the six months to June.

Lonmin reported an 8 percent dip in third-quarter production on Thursday.

On a heavy day for earnings, in other sectors Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever fell 1.8 percent after missing his forecasts for second quarter sales.

Chip designer ARM Holdings was the top faller on the FTSE 100, down 4.6 percent and testing its 200-day moving average around 850 pence after its U.S. customer Broadcomm overnight forecasted lower-than-expected third-quarter revenue.

Traders said bearish comment from Deutsche Bank and UBS, which removed ARM from its key call list, was also weighing on the shares, which trade on a 12-month forward price-to-earnings of 37 times, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Despite a rally of 9.5 percent since late-June lows, on a forward 12-month price-to-earnings valuation, the FTSE 100 trades on 11.9 times, compared with the 10-year average 12.24 times.

Low-cost airline easyJet extended gains, rising 1 percent the day after it increased full-year guidance as brokers such as HSBC and Citigroup raised target prices for the firm.

Although the sample is small, of the UK-listed companies who have already reported earnings in the second quarter, 67 percent have beaten analysts’ expectations, compared with 51 percent in Europe, according to Starmine data.

”Momentum for domestic UK companies has continued to improve and with the macro data starting to stabilise we see this as a catalyst for higher equity prices on the short term,“ Atif Latif, director at Guardian Stockbrokers,” said.

The FTSE 100 index did not react to as-expected data showing Britain’s economy grew twice as fast in the second quarter as in the first. (Reporting by David Brett; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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