Eurozone debt fear hits FTSE; banks, miners weigh

* FTSE 100 falls 0.6 percent; Eurozone debt contagion fears

* Banks, miners weak; investor risk appetite hit

* Oils majors rise; Royal Dutch Shell results

By David Brett

LONDON, April 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top shares fell for a
second day on Wednesday on mounting anxiety about euro zone
debt, with falls in banks and miners outpacing gains in energy
stocks after upbeat results.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique
Strauss-Kahn, in Berlin to discuss Greece’s fiscal crisis, will
hold a news conference around 1230 GMT on Wednesday.

At 1037 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index was down 30.59
points, or 0.6 percent, at 5,572.93, having tumbled 2.6 percent
on Tuesday — its biggest one-day percentage dip since late
November.

Euro zone’s debt problems intensified following credit
rating downgrades by Standard & Poor’s for both Greece and
Portugal late on Tuesday. [ID:nLDE6351JT]

“There has been too much talk and not enough action,” said
Howard Wheeldon, strategist at BGC Partners.

“The underlying problem is despite all the promises and all
the rhetoric there has been no mechanism that allows the process
of injecting funds into Greece.”

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) was down 3.5 percent. The
part-nationalised bank is holding its annual general meeting on
Wednesday.

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: ), which outperformed after a
solid trading update on Tuesday, dropped 3.3 percent, while
Barclays (BARC.L: ) fell 2.5 percent.

But Asia-focused HSBC (HSBA.L: ) and Standard Chartered
(STAN.L: ) shed just 0.4 and 0.1 percent respectively.

Other financials were also pressured by retreating risk
appetite. Man Group (EMG.L: ), the world’s largest listed hedge
fund firm, and insurers Admiral Group (ADML.L: ) and Aviva (AV.L: )
were 1.9 percent-3.2 percent lower.

Miners were pegged back along with metal prices, as
investors rushed to the traditional safe-haven of the dollar.

Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ), Xstrata (XTA.L: ), Antofagasta (ANTO.L: ),
and Lonmin (LMI.L: ) shed 2.1 to 2.7 percent.

Gold miner Randgold Resources (RRS.L: ) bucked the sector
trend, up 1.6 percent, benefitting as a proxy for safe-haven
buying of gold.

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: ) swung into positive
territory, up 0.2 percent, after reporting first-quarter
earnings that beat forecasts, while peers AstraZeneca (AZN.L: )
and Shire (SHP.L: ) fell 0.7 and 1.5 percent, respectively.

ENERGY GAINS

Energy shares prevented the FTSE from sliding further as
better-than-expected results in the sector lifted some of the
wider market gloom.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) topped the FTSE risers chart, up
3.2 percent as it posted an above-forecast 49 percent rise in
first-quarter net profit. [ID:nLDE63R05I]

BP (BP.L: ) added 2 percent, having posted strong profits on
Tuesday, while BG Group (BG.L: ), which posts its first-quarter
earnings on Thursday, added 1.5 percent.

No important data is due for release on Wednesday, so the
macro focus was on the outcome of the latest U.S. Federal
Reserve meeting, due at 1815 GMT, after the London close. No
change is expected to U.S. monetary policy.

Ex-dividend factors took a combined 5.47 points off the FTSE
100 index, according to Reuters calculations, with ARM Holdings
(ARM.L: ), Centrica (CNA.L: ), Reed Elsevier (REL.L: ), and Tesco
(TSCO.L: ) all trading without payout entitlements.

Stock Market News

(Editing by Rupert Winchester)

Eurozone debt fear hits FTSE; banks, miners weigh