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Britain's FTSE edges down, hit by Travis Perkins
October 19, 2016 / 9:20 AM / a year ago

Britain's FTSE edges down, hit by Travis Perkins

(ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon, see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)

* FTSE 100 down 0.2 pct

* Travis Perkins issues profit warning

* Reckitt Benckiser also falls after results

* Burberry bounces back from slump

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Britain’s top share index fell on Wednesday, with shares in plumbing and home improvement retailer Travis Perkins rocked by a profit warning.

Shares in Travis Perkins fell 5.4 percent, set for its biggest one-day fall since July, after Britain’s biggest supplier of building materials warned on full-year profit, blaming a poor performance in its plumbing and heating division.

The stock is down 27 percent since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June, making it the fourth worst UK blue-chip performer in the four months since the referendum.

Some said Travis Perkins’ gloomy financial update will confirm worries that the UK economy might be set for a slowdown, despite better than expected data.

“People are taking fright as to whether there might be a broader readthrough to the UK economy,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“The disappointing statement today will bring the risk of a UK economic slowdown back on the horizon, at a time when the market is obviously worried about the inflation genie coming out of the bottle as well.”

Fears of higher inflation have started to hit British consumer sentiment for the first time since June’s vote to leave the European Union sent the value of sterling tumbling, a survey of households showed on Wednesday.

Consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser Group dropped 2.6 percent after it reported a bigger than expected slowdown in underlying third-quarter sales growth on Wednesday, stung by a loss of business in South Korea and no growth in Europe and North America.

And mid-cap Laird lost around half of its value after the supplier to smartphone makers issued a profit warning.

The FTSE 100 <.FTSE. was down 0.2 percent to 6,984.65, while the mid-cap 250 fell 0.6 percent.

Among FTSE 100 risers, Burberry rebounded from recent falls to trade 2.2 percent higher.

It slumped 7.2 percent on Tuesday after poorly-received earnings, its biggest one-day drop for a year.

But brokers said that the move was an overreaction, and both Berenberg and Barclays raised their target price on the stock.

“Although expectations on Burberry had been high into the quarter, we believe that the share price weakness (-7%) was an overreaction given in line figures and no change to consensus PBT excluding FX,” analysts at UBS said in a note, reiterating a “buy” rating on the stock.

“We were positively surprised that cost control measures will now come in above expectations for both the full year and H1... offsetting the downgrade in wholesale guidance.”

Builder Bellway hit a four-month high and was up 4 percent, also benefitting from broker upgrades, this time after well-received results on Tuesday.

And Foxtons also reassured over its performance following the Brexit vote, up 3 percent after it said it was on track to meet expectations even as sales fell due to a weak London market.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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