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* FTSE 100 down 0.8 pct
* Miners fall on weaker copper price
* Downgrades weigh on Lloyds, IAG
* Babcock down after contract termination
By Kit Rees
LONDON, March 27 Britain's top share index hit a
one-month low after the failure of U.S. President Donald Trump
to push his healthcare reforms through Congress hit mining
shares and Babcock fell after exiting a contract.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.8 percent at
7,281.58 points by 0908 GMT, in line with the broader negative
On Friday, Republican leaders pulled legislation to overhaul
the U.S. healthcare system, a 2016 election campaign promise of
Trump and his allies, which has put into question Trump's
ability to deliver on his other promises, such as tax
The rally in global equity markets since Trump's election
has been driven by a reflation trade, on the hope for increased
infrastructure spending and tax cuts.
"The agenda is quite badly dented now – (Trump has) got a
lot of consensus building to do," Ken Odeluga, market analyst at
City Index, said.
"That’s going to delay his ability to be really, really
effective in terms of pushing through tax reform and
pharmaceuticals reform and certainly will delay coming back for
another bite of this healthcare reform," City Index's Odeluga
British miners were among the biggest fallers
among the large caps, with Glencore, BHP Billiton
and Antofagasta all dropping between 2 percent
to 2.6 percent as the price of copper slipped for a second day.
Among the dozen or so risers, precious metals miners were
among the top gainers, with Polymetal International,
Randgold Resources and Fresnillo all up between
1.8 percent to 2 percent, benefiting from a rise in gold prices
as investors bought safe-haven assets.
Shares in International Consolidated Airlines were
the biggest fallers, however, down more than 4 percent after
Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the stock to
"underperform" from "buy".
Likewise Berenberg's downgrade on Lloyds to "sell"
from "hold" sent the shares 2.2 percent lower, with analysts
saying the bank is riskier than perceived and that risks
from cyclical loan losses are highly skewed.
Babcock International also declined, down 3.1
percent after the engineering outsourcer said it had reached a
mutual agreement with the UK to terminate the Magnox nuclear
decommissioning contract in 2019.
Outside of the blue chips, shares in car dealer Inchcape
rose 4.5 percent after BNP Paribas upgraded its rating
on the stock to "outperform" from "neutral".
"The investment case has undergone a sharp U-turn over the
past 6 months," analysts at BNP Paribas said in a note.
"The macro backdrop has improved and there would now look to
be upside risk to the demand environment. Currency has turned
from a headwind to tailwind. Management have iterated a credible
self-help programme to support earnings progression. M&A has
moved from optionality to reality."
(Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Janet Lawrence)