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Heavyweight financials, exporter stocks drag FTSE 100 lower

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Heavyweight financials, exporter stocks drag FTSE 100 lower
FILE PHOTO: Traders look at financial information on computer screens on the IG Index trading floor in London, Britain February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson   -   Copyright  SIMON DAWSON(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – London’s main index inched lower on Friday due to losses in heavyweight financial companies and exporter stocks, while small-cap recruiter SThree advanced after reporting strong hiring in its international markets.

The FTSE 100 shed 0.2% and the FTSE 250 was roughly flat by 0704 GMT.

An index of UK banks, which has been under pressure this week after protests in Hong Kong against a Chinese extradition bill, slipped for the fourth straight session.

The dollar was also subdued ahead of a key U.S. Federal reserve meeting next week where investors are expecting an interest rate cut, hitting exporters such as BAT.

Precious metals like gold were in demand as a result. Miner Fresnillo added 1.6%.

Small-cap SThree, which hires workforce for financial, energy, banking and pharmaceutical companies, gained 4% as its net fees rose due to strength in its international markets.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru)

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