FTSE 100 slips for the third day as financials weigh

By Shashwat Chauhan and Khushi Singh

(Reuters) -Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped for the third straight day on Wednesday following hawkish comments from Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, while insurance heavyweights Aviva and Prudential fell after bearish brokerage comments.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index dipped 0.4% and the domestically-focussed mid-cap index added 0.4%.

Bailey said that the central bank “will do what it takes” to get inflation down to its 2% target, adding that he had not yet seen enough progress towards that goal to be confident.

The life insurance sector fell 1.7%, to the bottom of FTSE 100 with Prudential slipping 3.5% after Deutsche Bank reduced its price target on the stock.

Insurer Aviva also dropped 2.1% after the bank downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy”.

Banks slipped 1.0% following a 3.3% slip in Standard Chartered.

Top gainer precious metal miners added 2.6% as gold prices continued surging as expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may cut interest rates by the first half of next year boosted the outlook. [GOL/]

“It’s now possible that gold is on course to take out its record closing high of $2,070 from August 2020,” said David Morrison, Senior Market Analyst at Trade Nation.

Retailer shares climbed 1.3% on a 5.7% jump in sportswear firm JD Sports after U.S.-listed footwear retailer Foot Locker forecast annual profit above market estimates.

Spirent Communications rose 5.9%, to the top of the mid-cap index after the IT and network service provider signed agreement with financial services organisation to automate its lab & testing capabilities.

Pets at Home Group jumped 5.1% after the retailer forecast like-for-like retail sales growth ahead of Christmas.

Rate-sensitive stocks like real estate, real estate investment trusts, and homebuilders rose more than 1.2% each.

Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed British home prices will fall again in 2024 after dropping 4% this year as the Bank of England keeps interest rates higher for longer.

(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan and Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Eileen Soreng)