August 8, 2017 / 8:42 AM / 2 years ago

Leisure stocks, miners pull Britain's FTSE back from six-week high

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* FTSE 100 down 0.1 pct

* Chinese trade data drags miners down

* Leisure sector falls as IHG, PPB disappoint

* IWG set for worst day since Brexit vote

* Standard Life falls after H1 outflows

By Helen Reid

LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Weakness among basic resource stocks removed a key support from Britain’s major share index on Tuesday, while disappointing results from hotelier IHG and gambling company Paddy Power Betfair also weighed.

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent, with Antofagasta, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton among top 10 fallers as metal prices dropped after trade data from China, the world’s top copper consumer, fell short of expectations.

Earnings from the FTSE’s international exporting companies have been flattered by the weaker pound, helping push the index to six-week highs, investors said, warning this support would dissipate in the second half.

“We are still benefiting from the annualisation of the Brexit effect on the currency, but it will be interesting to see how the second half will go when results are more based on actual top-line growth,” said Laura Foll, UK fund manager at Janus Henderson.

Intercontinental Hotel and Paddy Power Betfair were the worst-performing after disappointing results, helping the pan-European travel and leisure sector fall 0.8 percent.

Paddy Power Betfair shares fell 5.4 percent, hitting their lowest in nearly two years and taking two-day losses to 10 percent of market value.

First-half results added to investor concerns after Monday’s news CEO Breon Corcoran would step down. The company said successor Peter Jackson would be in place in six to 12 months.

“Paddy Power Betfair delivered an earnings miss due to net revenue margins coming in below our expectations once again,” said analysts at Davy Research.

IHG fell 4.7 percent after reporting growth in revenue per room slowed in the second quarter, hurt by a later Easter, though Liberum analysts also pointed to the company launching a new U.S. midscale brand.

“Further evidence of an accelerating pipeline is encouraging, offsetting some of our concerns about Rev/PAR (revenue per available room) slowdown, although not all,” they said.

Standard Life shares fell 3 percent after first-half profits. KBW analysts pointed to worse total group outflows than expected, as investors focused on the completion of an 11 billion pound merger with Aberdeen Asset Management.

Aberdeen’s shares also fell 3.4 percent.

Sharp results-driven losses weighed on the mid-cap index as well.

Shares in serviced office provider IWG fell 8.7 percent, set for their worst day since the Brexit aftermath, as traders pointed to disappointing gross profit margins in its second-quarter results. Profitability was hurt by investment into an accelerating expansion, analysts said.

A cut to sell from Credit Suisse sent motor insurer AA down 6.6 percent.

“We downgrade to Underperform and reduce the target price to 175p from 235p to reflect operational challenges which, we believe, will continue to face the Roadside Assistance division in the near-to-medium term,” wrote analysts.

Meanwhile veterinary and pet grooming firm Pets at Home jumped 7.4 percent as strong demand boosted its first-quarter revenue. (Reporting by Helen Reid)

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