BP, banks push FTSE lower, down for fourth day

* FTSE 100 down 0.4 percent

* BP falls as worries grow on leak cap

* Banks retreat, International Power up on M&A talk

By Simon Falush

LONDON, July 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index dipped
on Monday as worries about prospects for global economic growth
hurt bank shares while BP (BP.L: ) fell on concerns about the
effectiveness of the cap on its leaking Gulf of Mexico oil well.

Poor U.S. macro-economic data and disappointing results from
U.S. companies combined with a downgrade of Ireland’s sovereign
bond rating by Moody’s and a suspension of talks between Hungary
and the IMF to increase investor nerves.

By 0803 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was down 18.48 points or
0.4 percent at 5,140.37 after it fell 1 percent on Friday.

It is down for a fourth consecutive session and has fallen
11.8 percent since worries on sovereign debt and economic
recovery surfaced in April.

“People are taking on board the steady drip of bad
(macro-economic) news from the U.S., revenues from the earnings
season are not coming through, and now we have the news about
Ireland, so there’s not much to cheer markets at the moment,”
said David Morrison, market strategist at GFT Global.

Banks were weaker as worries on euro zone debt and
increasing concern about economic growth dented sentiment on the
outlook for financial stocks. Barclays (BARC.L: ) was down 1.8
percent, while Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: ) fell 1.6 percent.

BP, down 5.1 percent, was the biggest single drag on the
index, knocking off 14.8 points. Engineers monitoring its
damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico detected seepage on the ocean
floor that could mean problems with the cap that has stopped oil
from gushing into the water. [ID:nN18131133]

“It’s worrying, it’s just what investors didn’t want to see.
There are horrendous possibilities for the company that has
unlimited liabilities,” Morrison at GFT Global said.

The oil giant has lost 41 percent in value since the leak
started in April.

M&A BOOST

Among gainers, shares in International Power (IPR.L: ) were
the top risers on the index, up 8.4 percent after it said it had
revived talks on a possible tie-up with France’s GDF Suez
(GSZ.PA: ).

And on the second tier (.FTMC: ), Tomkins (TOMK.L: ) soared 34
percent after the engineering firm said it has received a bid
approach at 325 pence per share from a consortium of Onex
(OCX.TO: ) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Miners managed some gains, recovering slightly after sharp
falls the previous week, supported by firmer metal prices. Rio
Tinto (RIO.L: ) and Xstrata (XTA.L: ) added 1.5 and 1.4 percent
respectively.

In a sign that the domestic UK economy is facing stiff
headwinds, asking prices for British homes fell for the first
time this year in July, lowering the annual rate of growth to
3.7 percent from 5.0 percent in June, property website Rightmove
showed on Monday. [ID:nLDE66F0XD]
(Editing by Michael Shields)

BP, banks push FTSE lower, down for fourth day