British blue-chip shares lower as Centrica, BAE reports disappoint

British blue-chip shares lower as Centrica, BAE reports disappoint
FILE PHOTO: A broker looks at financial information on computer screens on the IG Index the trading floor in London, Britain February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo   -  Copyright  SIMON DAWSON(Reuters)
By Reuters

(Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 fell on Thursday after downbeat reports from energy supplier Centrica and defence company BAE Systems, while online estate agent Purplebricks lost more than a third of its value after cutting its revenue target.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.3 percent and the FTSE 250 was down 0.1 percent by 0837 GMT. Both indexes were lagging their European peers.

Centrica slipped 11 percent to a near 16-year low after it warned that a national price cap on energy bills would hit its 2019 results.

BAE Systems fell 6 percent after flagging that German moves to block exports to Saudi Arabia could hit its major deals with Riyadh and weigh on its financial performance and relationships.

AIM-listed online estate agent Purplebricks plummeted nearly 40 percent after it cut full-year revenue forecast and said top bosses of its British and U.S. units would depart.

The FTSE 100’s fall came despite optimism from Asia, where shares had risen as the U.S. Federal Reserve affirmed its “patient” stance on further interest rate hikes and on news that China and the U.S. were outlining terms of a deal to end their trade dispute.

Miners were the biggest drags on the main bourse as copper prices edged lower on the back of a stronger dollar.

But Barclays outperformed the index and rose 4.5 percent as full-year profit in its under-pressure investment bank rose.

Recruiter Hays skidded 8 percent to the bottom of the mid-cap index after warned its overall growth rate would be hit due to lower level of contractor extensions in its biggest market Germany.

Just Eat slid nearly 3 percent after a Financial Times report that Uber would cut fees for food delivery in UK and Ireland.

Gambling software developer Playtech jumped 6 percent after announcing a share buyback and guiding to higher core earnings for 2019.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)

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