Miners pull FTSE lower with U.S. GDP eyed

* FTSE down 0.3 percent

* Miners retreat with metals ahead of U.S. GDP

* Shire rises on Q3 results, positive drug study

By David Brett

LONDON, Oct 29 (BestGrowthStock) – Miners dragged Britain’s top
shares lower on Friday, as metals prices waned ahead of U.S.
third-quarter growth numbers, outpacing strength in defensive
stocks with drugmaker Shire gaining after bullish results.

By 1056 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was 17.95 points, or 0.3
percent, lower at 5,662.87, having closed up 0.6 percent on
Thursday.

Miners (.FTNMX1770: ) continued their ebb and flow of recent
days giving back part of Thursday’s advance, with Xstrata
(XTA.L: ) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) the worst off, down 3.1 percent
and 2.2 percent respectively.

Investors were awaiting the advance reading for U.S.
third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), due at 1230 GMT,
with quarterly growth of 2.0 percent forecast. [ID:nN26123915]

“Generally we have seen traders turn more cautious by
removing elements of risk from their portfolios as we head into
the afternoon and the important US GDP figure,” Joshua Raymond,
Market Strategist, City Index said.

“There is a slight worry that US GDP could track a similar
tone to that of the UK’s third quarter GDP announced earlier
this week by proving to be more resilient than anticipated.”

U.S. futures (DJc1: ) (SPc1: ) (NDc1: ) pointed to a weaker start
on Wall Street on Friday, ahead of the GDP figure.

DEFENSIVE SUPPORT

Perceived defensive shares littered the FTSE 100 leaderboard
as investors switched out of riskier assets such as miners and
banks.

Pharmaceutical firm Shire (SHP.L: ) was a top riser, up 1.6 as
it reported an upbeat third-quarter performance, and positive
results from a phase 2 study of vyvanse in patients who have had
residual symptoms of depression.

Utility firm Centrica (CNA.L: ) rose 2.4 percent, while United
Utilities (UU.L: ) and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE.L: ) added
1.7 and 1.6 percent respectively.

Energy stocks (.FTNMX0530: ), which rose on Thursday after
above-forecast results from Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ), were in
favour.

BP (BP.L: ) rose 0.3 percent after a U.S. presidential panel
said contractor Halliburton Co. (HAL.N: ) used flawed cement in
the Gulf of Mexico well that caused the worst offshore oil spill
in U.S. history. [ID:nN28101677]

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) climbed 0.9 percent, while BG
Group (BG.L: ) added 0.3 percent ahead of third-quarter earnings
from U.S. peer Chevron (CVX.N: ).

There was support for insurers, buoyed by a strong
performance from AIA Group Ltd (1299.HK: ) at its flotation in
Hong Kong.

AIA shares surged over 17 percent on their debut on Friday
as investors, chasing exposure to Asia’s fast-growing life
insurance business, piled into the record offering.
[ID:nTOE69S06P]

UK insurer Aviva (AV.L: ) was up 2.0 percent.

British Airways (BAY.L: ) was among the top FTSE 100 (.FTSE: )
fallers, off 2.7 percent, after the airline posted first-half
results, with investors taking profits after a good run in the
share price, and as economic uncertainty remains.
(Editing by Sharon Lindores)

Miners pull FTSE lower with U.S. GDP eyed