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FTSE 100 ends lower on commodity weakness; GlaxoSmithKline goes ex-dividend

FTSE 100 ends lower on commodity weakness; GlaxoSmithKline goes ex-dividend 1

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 ended lower on Thursday as heavyweight mining and energy stocks tracked weak commodity prices, while online gambling software developer Playtech jumped after receiving a third takeover bid in the past two months.

The blue-chip index fell 0.5%, with precious metal and base metal miners leading declines, down 2.6% and 1.5% respectively.

Energy companies Royal Dutch Shell and BP shed about 1.6% each and were among the top drags on the index after oil prices slid to six-week lows before reversing course, as China said it was moving to release reserves. [O/R]

The FTSE 100 extended losses for a third day and was set to end the week lower after gaining for three straight weeks, as a robust jobs report and data showing inflation at a 10-year high earlier this week heightened rate hike expectations.

“Mounting inflation has helped drag the index back as it raises the likelihood of a pre-Christmas rate rise, thereby boosting the pound,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

“When some 70% of its constituents’ earnings are derived from overseas, strength in sterling isn’t that helpful.”

Bogged down by supply chain problems and inflationary pressures, the FTSE has struggled to perform as well as its European peers that have extended gains for their seventh day. [.EU]

Investors are awaiting October retail sales data on Friday to gauge if higher prices hurt consumer spending.

Homebuilders rose 3.9% led by gains in Crest Nicholson after it said its FY21 profits would be marginally ahead of consensus.

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline declined 3% as it traded ex-dividend.

Royal Mail climbed 9.7% after the company said it would return 400 million pounds ($539.84 million) to shareholders and forecast higher annual earnings in its British business.

Lender Metro Bank slumped 19.6% after U.S. private equity firm Carlyle said talks about a possible takeover offer for the bank had ended.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index advanced 0.6%, with Playtech adding 3.9% after a takeover bid from JKO Play Ltd.

Graphic: Mining stocks have underperformed UK’s FTSE 100

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Shashank Nayar; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Shounak Dasgupta and Alex Richardson)

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