FTSE down 0.3 percent; BP drops after results

* BP top blue-chip faller after Q4 misses expectations

* Miners extend previous session’s gains

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index fell 0.3
percent early on Tuesday, pressured by energy stocks after
disappointing results from BP (BP.L: ), which outweighed solid
gains from miners helped by positive broker comment.

By 0912 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was off 17.46 points at
5,229.95, after closing 58.89 points, or 1.1 percent higher on
Monday.

Energy stocks were in the doldrums after BP’s results, and
with crude (CLc1: ) paring gains on dollar strength.

BP was the standout FTSE 100 faller, off 3.9 percent, after
reporting a lower than forecast 33 percent rise in
fourth-quarter replacement cost profit and saying an operational
turnaround could slow this year. [ID:nLDE61105O]

Peer Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ), set to report on Thursday,
fell 0.7 percent.

“The FTSE is probably going to be swinging around very
heavily dictated by where the U.S. futures go to at the moment
because that seems to be one of the dominant trends,” said
Stephen Pope, chief global market strategist at Cantor
Fitzgerald.

“There is going to be a lot of emphasis upon: ‘Are the
string of decent U.S. economic numbers going to continue in the
run up to the unemployment figures on Friday?’.”

It was a mixed picture among the banks after their rally in
the past two sessions, with HSBC (HSBA.L: ) and Standard Chartered
(STAN.L: ) both off 0.7 percent, but Barclays (BARC.L: ), Royal Bank
of Scotland (RBS.L: ) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: ) up 1
percent to 1.5 percent.

Among individual movers, Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L: ) fell 3.2
percent after Credit Suisse cut its rating for the household
products firm to ‘neutral’ from ‘outperform’, mainly on
valuation grounds. [ID:nLDE6110GW]

MINERS LIMIT LOSSES

Miners were in demand, extending the previous session’s
solid gains, led higher by Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ), up 2.4 percent
boosted by a Citigroup upgrade to ‘buy’, and with Anglo American
(AAL.L: ) putting on 1.3 percent after an upgrade to ‘buy’ from SG
Securities.

Xstrata (XTA.L: ), BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ) and Eurasian Natural
Resources (ENRC.L: ) put on 0.8-1.7 percent with the demand
picture helped by stronger U.S. manufacturing data on Monday.

Australia’s central bank shocked markets by not raising
interest rates, citing the impact of higher mortgage rates at
home, while noting tighter policy in China and concerns over
sovereign debt abroad. [ID:nSGE61003K]

No important domestic economic data was due for release on
Tuesday, and the only U.S. pointer of real interest will be
December pending home sales, so attention will remain directed
on Thursday’s Bank of England interest rate decision and the
December U.S. jobs report on Friday.

Stock Market Report

(Editing by Dan Lalor)

FTSE down 0.3 percent; BP drops after results