Miners pull FTSE 100 lower, stocks trading ex-dividend tumble

(Reuters) - Britain’s mining stocks tugged the main index lower on Thursday, while shares of IAG and Coca Cola HBC slid as they traded ex-dividend, though several investors stayed on the sidelines during the U.S. market holiday.

FILE PHOTO: A broker reacts on the IG Index the trading floor in London, Britain February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

The FTSE 100 .FTSE inched 0.1% lower but still hovered around a 10-month high and the FTSE 250 .FTMC was roughly flat.

“It is perhaps a sign of how much trading has been driven by the U.S. in the last couple of months that the absence of the American markets due to Independence Day left their European counterparts in neutral,” Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said.

British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group ICAG.L skidded 5.9% on its worst day since October 2017. Coca-Cola's KO.N leading bottler Coca Cola HBC CCH.L slipped 6.7%.

The slide in stocks trading without a dividend entitlement kept the main index from rising for a fifth straight session even though a softer-than-expected U.S. jobs report overnight spurred hopes of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

Companies in the United States added more jobs in June, but fewer than analysts had forecast.

UK markets have been sensitive to dovish signals this week as expectations of near-term rate cuts by the Bank of England were raised by weak economic data and remarks by Governor Mark Carney.

In June, the FTSE 100 had enjoyed its best month since January amid rising hopes that central banks around the world would loosen policy to counter slowing growth.

An index of miners .FTNMX8350 fell 1.4% as copper prices slipped on a jump in London Metal Exchange inventories.

Israel-focused gas driller Energean ENOG.L surged 13.7% to an all-time high after saying it would buy the oil and natural gas unit of Italy's Edison SpA EDNn.MI.

Persimmon PSN.L, Britain's second-largest homebuilder, shed 1.2% after it posted lower first-half revenue as increased focus on quality and improving customer service slowed order intake.

“The pressures of the step up in customer service continue to weigh on revenues... the question remains of how long until customer service initiatives impact profitability,” Jefferies analysts said.

Shares of blue-chip rivals Taylor Wimpey TW.L and Berkeley BKGH.L gave up 1% each.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Andrew Heavens