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London close: FTSE falls on dollar dip, ex-divs and tendency to gold safety

By Andrew Schonberg

Date: Thursday 16 Feb 2017

London close: FTSE falls on dollar dip, ex-divs and tendency to gold safety

(ShareCast News) - London equities limped to a lower close Thursday, pulled down by a trinity of factors including dollar weakness, a tendency to safe-haven gold and ex-dividend stocks.
These combined to see the FTSE 100 down 0.34% to 7,277.92, and the FTSE 250 down -0.65%% to 18,705.72. Both ladders were lower from the get-go, with ample evidence to suggest at least some profiteers were scooping their gains.

Falls of more than 1% by the FTSE 350 indices for aerospace & defence, oil & gas producers and automobiles & parts more than offset by gains from food producers and fixed-line telecoms.

More broadly, on Wall St the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were all retreating, as were the Euro Stoxx 50, DAX and CAC 40 in Europe.

"At some points investors need to ask themselves how much the 'Trump Trade' is actually worth," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"Is today the day when investors look at the gains seen since the 9th November and make a calculation as to how much is priced in relative to what President Trump can deliver?"

It was a factor also being mulled by FXTM vice president of market research Jameel Ahmad.

He noted investors were being enticed towards gold -- up 0.74% to $1242.2 an ounce at 16:16 GMT -- regardless of US stock markets maintaining their positions around record levels.

"Of course dollar weakness helps gold, but I am just wondering if investors are hedging towards the precious metal as a result of questions remaining in the background as to whether this stock-market rally can really continue," Ahmad pondered.

Oanda's Craig Erlam said the recent highs seen in equities markets appeared to be the trigger for some profit taking.

"There's also been a lot of economic data to take on board over the last couple of days but in the main, this has supported the hawkish argument with CPI inflation exceeding expectations and being above the Fed's inflation target and retail sales also outperforming," he said.

Also at 16:16 GMT, West Texas Intermediate was down 0.4% to $52.90 a barrel, while Brent was down 0.65% to $55.39 a barrel.

In terms of UK blue chips, AstraZeneca led the fallers as it, BP, Shell and Imperial Brands were among those ex-dividend.

Several banks and insurers eased, too, with both residential and commercial property outfits retreating throughout the course of the session.

Among these stocks were Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Scotland, RSA Insurance, Legal & General, British Land and Barratt Developments.

There were no major UK data releases due on Thursday. In the US, data showed that US housing starts fell in January, while other numbers revealed manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia region unexpectedly improved in February.

Finally, US initial jobless claims were up a less-than-expected 5000 to 239,00 last week, from the previous week's unrevised level. Analysts had expected claims to jump to 245,000.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,277.92 -0.34%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,705.72 -0.65%
techMARK (TASX) 3,336.52 -0.63%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,912.00p 4.88%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,763.00p 3.79%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,203.00p 2.04%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,568.00p 1.62%
Capita (CPI) 515.00p 1.48%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,617.00p 1.41%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,015.00p 1.36%
Experian (EXPN) 1,597.00p 1.27%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,448.00p 1.12%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 3,875.00p 1.07%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,524.50p -3.41%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,123.00p -2.19%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,225.50p -2.15%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 848.50p -2.02%
BP (BP.) 448.40p -2.00%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,369.50p -1.83%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 693.50p -1.56%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,362.00p -1.38%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,072.00p -1.35%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 233.20p -1.31%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 740.00p 8.74%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 378.50p 3.05%
Shawbrook Group (SHAW) 267.50p 2.88%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 533.00p 2.60%
Aldermore Group (ALD) 233.50p 2.32%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 185.10p 2.04%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 274.30p 1.74%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 6,565.00p 1.55%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 494.90p 1.41%
Card Factory (CARD) 253.40p 1.16%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Cobham (COB) 114.70p -15.29%
IP Group (IPO) 168.60p -7.31%
Drax Group (DRX) 359.00p -5.28%
SIG (SHI) 107.90p -4.34%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 1,617.00p -3.58%
PayPoint (PAY) 965.00p -3.50%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 305.80p -3.38%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 428.50p -3.14%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 571.00p -3.06%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 149.20p -2.99%

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