* FTSE 100 flat
* Hikma drops after drug setback
* BT falls after results, Centrica downgraded
* Ex-divs also weigh
* Rise in miners lends support
(Adds details, closing prices)
By Kit Rees
LONDON, May 11 Britain's top-share index
steadied at one-month highs on Thursday after five straight
sessions of gains as disappointing results and downgrades
weighed, as well as a slump in Hikma's shares after a
setback to one of its drugs.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index ended flat at 7,386.63
points, having risen for 5 straight sessions, while the mid caps
fell 0.4 percent.
The Bank of England's inflation report that showed interest
rates were unlikely to rise within the next two years and that
its Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-1 in favour of keeping
rates on hold this month had little impact on British stocks.
"(There was) no hawkish surprise from the Bank of England,"
said ETX Capital analyst Neil Wilson.
Pharma firm Hikma sunk 8.2 percent and hit its
lowest level in around 5 months after U.S. regulators decided
not to approve its generic copy of GlaxoSmithKline's
blockbuster lung drug Advair.
Hikma also said that the likelihood of an approval this year
was now low.
Shares in Hikma's mid-cap partner Vectura plunged
Results also weighed, with BT falling 4.5 percent
after reporting fourth-quarter results.
The telecoms group said it would cut 4,000 jobs in its
Global Services unit and scale back its dividend growth
ambitions in a bid to recover from an accounting scandal and a
"Given the challenges that BT is facing at the moment,
including lots of competition, the regulatory issues, and the
debt that it took on to fund the purchase of EE, and the pension
scheme revaluation coming around this year, it's probably in the
business' longer-term interests to be prudent," Laith Khalaf,
senior market analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
Likewise South Africa-exposed paper and packaging firm Mondi
dropped 1.7 percent after its first-quarter profit fell
due to lower selling prices and inflationary cost pressures.
Energy supplier Centrica was another sizeable
faller, down 5.4 percent after J.P. Morgan cut its rating on the
stock to "underweight" from "overweight".
J.P. Morgan analysts pointed to concerns around the impact
of regulation of Centrica's 'Standard Variable Tariff' customer
base, and around the potential emergence of a price war.
Adding to the pressure, Centrica's shares also went
ex-dividend on Thursday, and it was joined by Admiral Group
and Sainsbury which also traded without
entitlement to their latest dividend payment.
A rally among mining stocks provided some relief to the
losses, though, with precious metals miner Fresnillo,
copper miner Antofagasta and Anglo American
among the top gainers, all up between 1 percent to 5 percent as
the underlying prices of gold and copper rose.
(Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni,; Editing by Ed Osmond)