(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 0.3 pct
* Rio Tinto biggest drag after earnings disappoint
* Standard Chartered falls 3 pct after H1 results
* William Hill jumps on stronger online revenue
By Helen Reid
LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Britain’s major share index slipped on Wednesday as basic resources and financial stocks weighed on another full day of earnings with Standard Chartered and Rio Tinto among the large companies reporting disappointing results.
The FTSE 100 dipped 0.2 percent after two robust sessions of gains, dragged down by heavyweight miners Rio Tinto and Glencore, with financials the biggest sector weight.
Standard Chartered shares fell more 4.7 percent, on track for their worst day in nine months, despite the bank reporting a 93 percent increase in first-half profit, as investors’ hopes of a resumed dividend payout were dashed.
Rio Tinto fell 2.1 percent, the biggest single weight on the index, after the miner saw earnings miss forecasts, though they more than doubled thanks to higher commodity prices.
“While slightly behind our expectations, we still consider the numbers to be decent,” said Shore Capital analysts.
“We were disappointed at the increased buyback - we would have preferred to see a higher dividend instead,” they added, referring to Rio’s increased share buy-back of $1 billion by end of 2017.
Peer Glencore also fell 1 percent.
Motor and home insurer RSA led losses among blue-chips, down 2.4 after first-half operating profit slightly undershot analyst expectations despite rising 15 percent.
“The dividend upgrade we forecast did not occur, with the 6.6p interim dividend 42 percent below our expectation of 11.4p (-6 percent versus consensus),” said KBW analysts.
BAE Systems was the best-performing, up 2.9 percent after its first-half earnings beat forecasts with an 11-percent rise, and the firm stuck to full-year targets despite a softening in demand in cyber and intelligence.
Defence contractor Babcock followed BAE’s lead, up 2 percent after RBC started coverage of the stock with an ‘outperform’ rating.
Mid-caps held up slightly better than the large companies, flat in percentage terms.
Betting shop William Hill led gains, jumping 10.4 percent after its first-half results showed revenue from online channels were up 5 percent.
“William Hill is cheap, trading on a full-year 2017 price-to-earnings of 10.5 times, free cash flow yield of 7.6 percent, dividend yield of 5 percent. Regulation risk is high but momentum is strong in key online division,” said Barclays analysts.
Auto Trader meanwhile fell 4 percent, among the worst-performing STOXX 600 stocks, after JP Morgan cut its ratings on it and German peer Scout24.
“Online Classifieds have been darling stocks over the past five years, but we see clouds on the horizon,” said analysts.
“We downgrade Auto Trader to underweight from neutral on valuation grounds and weakening macro data,” they added, pointing to weak new car sales as an indicator the classified car website could underperform. (Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Andrew Heavens)