FTSE falls 1.6 pct ahead of key U.S. jobs data

* Miners hurt by lower metals prices

* Energy stocks fall after BG results

* Compass top blue chip riser after update

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, Feb 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index fell 1.6
percent by midday on Friday, extending the previous session’s
hefty losses, hurt by commodity issues on fears over the global
recovery picture, ahead of crucial U.S. non-farm payrolls data.

ICAP (IAP.L: ), the world’s biggest interdealer broker, topped
the blue chip fallers list, sinking nearly 18 percent after the
company said full-year earnings would miss analysts’
expectations. [ID:nLDE61404V]

By 1205 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was off 82.53 points at
5,056.78, on track for its biggest weekly fall since October,
after ending down 2.2 percent on Thursday.

Energy stocks took the most points off the index, led lower
by BG Group (BG.L: ), off 4.6 percent, after its fourth-quarter
earnings, excluding non operations, missed expectations.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) and BP (BP.L: ), which both posted
disappointing Q4 results earlier this week, fell 1.8 and 1.6
percent respectively.

Investors were anxious ahead of the U.S. jobs data,
scheduled for release at 1330 GMT, with a Reuters poll
predicting a 5,000 increase in the number of jobs.

Miners were also under pressure, adding to the previous
session’s decline, on a renewed bout of risk aversion and
falling metals prices.

Vedanta Resources (VED.L: ), Xstrata (XTA.L: ) and Lonmin
(LMI.L: ) were among the hardest hit, shedding 4.8 to 4.9 percent.

Global stock markets suffered this week on fears that
troubles in Greece and other southern members of the euro zone,
including Portugal and Spain, could impede or even derail an
economic recovery that helped equities surge in 2009.

“I certainly subscribe to the view that the situations in
Greece and Portugal are difficult, but I don’t think it’s the
sole reason that the market is down,” said Paul Kavanagh,
partner at Killik & Co.

“My view is that it’s another thing for somebody to start to
feel nervous about, and it’s just adding weight to the reasons
why people want to take a profit and preserve the position a
little bit.”

Banks, which tend to suffer when investors become more risk
averse, were in the doldrums, with Barclays (BARC.L: ), HSBC
(HSBA.L: ), Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: ), Royal Bank of Scotland
(RBS.L: ) and Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ) dropping 0.9 to 5.3
percent.

HANDFUL OF GAINERS

Compass (CPG.L: ) was the biggest FTSE 100 riser, adding 4.6
percent after the caterer said it made a good start to its
current fiscal year, with its rate of sales decline slowing and
its pipeline of new business remaining strong. [ID:nLDE61408Z]

Liberty International (LII.L: ) was also in favour, putting on
0.9 percent, with the mall owner mulling a radical division of
its portfolio into two separate listed companies as it battles
to bounce back from the worst property crash in decades.
[ID:nLDE61403X]

Vodafone (VOD.L: ) climbed 0.3 percent, building on an advance
made on Thursday when the mobile phone operator posted
third-quarter revenue ahead of forecasts and raised its outlook.

British manufacturers’ raw material costs rose more than
expected last month and at their sharpest annual rate since
October 2008 as the cost of crude oil surged, official data
showed. [ID:nONS004770]

Stock Market Basics

FTSE falls 1.6 pct ahead of key U.S. jobs data