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FTSE 100 muted as strong earnings offset by losses in commodity stocks

By Khushi Singh

(Reuters) -Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 was subdued on Wednesday, as gains in healthcare giant GSK and retailer Next Plc after they raised full-year profit outlook were offset by declines in energy and mining stocks.

The internationally-focused FTSE 100 was flat at 9:01 GMT, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 moved 0.1% lower, on track to snap a three-day winning streak.

GSK shares rose 1.2% after the drugmaker raised its full-year profit and sales forecasts for the second time this year. The broader pharma and biotech sector climbed 0.9% on the news, leading gains.

Shares of Next Plc gained 3.3% while the retailer index added 1.1% after the clothing retailer raised its annual profit outlook for the fourth time in six months following better-than-expected sales in the third quarter.

Precious metal miners lost 1.9% as gold prices eased. Industrial metal miners shed 0.2%, tracking lower copper prices as renewed concerns over China’s economy dented demand outlook. [MET/L] [GOL/]

Oil and gas shares also slipped 0.8%. [O/R]

Top decliner automobiles and parts index fell 3.8% on a 15.1% drop in Aston Martin shares after the luxury carmaker lowered its 2023 volume outlook due to production issues for its new sports car DB12.

Warehousing specialist Segro dropped 3.0% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after broker Goldman Sachs downgraded the company to sell from neutral.

Meanwhile, data showed British house prices unexpectedly rose by almost 1% in October but the increase was due more to a lack of homes for sale than a turnaround in a market hit by a jump in borrowing costs.

“Although it’s a surprisingly good result for the housing market, there’s still significant headwinds ahead because we haven’t still felt the full impact of the Bank of England interest rate hikes,” said Giles Coghlan, Chief Market Analyst at GCFX Ltd.

(Reporting by Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)


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