Britain's FTSE relatively stable as Brexit impasse has mixed impact

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Britain's FTSE relatively stable as Brexit impasse has mixed impact
Credit: © Reuters.

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* FTSE 100 down 0.1 pct; midcaps down 0.7 percent

* Gains in international stocks provide support

* Banks, housebuilders lead FTSE 100 losers

* Warnings hit heavily ConvaTec and Superdry

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index was steady on Monday as a deadlock in Brexit talks depressed domestic stocks but helped internationally focused companies as it weakened the pound.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE was down 0.1 percent by 0813 GMT, while the domestically focused midcap index .FTMC fell 0.7 percent, further hit by warnings from ConvaTec and Superdry.

The FTSE outperformed the pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX , which declined 0.4 percent.

"Thanks to the situation with sterling, the FTSE ended up being one of the better performers," said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex.com.

The stubborn problem of Britain's land border with Ireland thwarted a drive to clinch a Brexit deal before a European Union summit this week, as negotiators admitted defeat after marathon talks and pressed pause for the coming days. delay or disagreement only heightens the chances of a no-deal Brexit, hence the pound's red headache," added Campbell.

Shares in big international firms such as British American Tobacco (JO: SNHJ ) BATS.L , Shire SHP.L and Unilever ULVR.L , as well as oil majors, which tracked rising crude prices, provided the biggest boost to the FTSE.

Shares in precious metal miners Randgold Resources RRS.L and Fresnillo FRES.L also rose, up 3.6 and 2.1 percent respectively, as gold prices hit a near 12-week high.

Among companies with bigger exposure to the domestic economy, banks Lloyds LLOY.L and Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L fell 1.2 and 0.7 percent respectively, while house builders Derwent DLN.L and Persimmon PSN.L dropped by around 1 percent.

Analysts expect a no-deal scenario to lead to a significant downward revision to Britain's economic growth, with sterling likely to fall further under such a scenario.

Among mid-caps, ConvaTec CTEC.L plunged 27 percent after the medical devices maker lowered its expectations for revenues and margins, citing a change in inventory policy by its largest customer in its Infusion Devices business. group Superdry SDRY.L warned 2018-19 profit could be as much as 17 percent below current expectations, blaming a hit to sales from unseasonably hot weather and rising foreign exchange costs. Its shares tumbled 17.7 percent.

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