(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 was roughly flat on Thursday, as gains in large industrial stocks after upbeat forecasts from European peers and encouraging news on U.S.-China trade talks offset a drop in several stocks trading ex-dividend.
A drop in stocks trading without dividend entitlement such as BHP <BHPB.L> and Glencore <GLEN.L> counteracted a results-driven 5.2% jump in turnaround specialist Melrose <MRON.L>, and left the FTSE 100 <.FTSE> struggling for clear direction in early dealings.
Industrial giants such as BAE Systems <BAES.L> and Rolls-Royce <RR.L> advanced after French engine maker Safran <SAF.PA> raised its annual profit forecast and Rafale warplanes maker Dassault Aviation <AVMD.PA> affirmed its view of higher net sales in 2019.
The FTSE 250 <.FTMC> slipped 0.1% lower by 07159 GMT, partly due to a more than 20% slump in CYBG <CYBGC.L> after the Yorkshire Bank and Virgin Money owner said it expected to increase its provision for legacy payment protection insurance costs.
(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)