August 21, 2017 / 9:12 AM / a year ago

Britain's FTSE teeters close to 3-month low as financials fall

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* FTSE 100, mid caps down 0.2 pct

* Financials biggest weight on blue chips

* Buoyant metals prices boost miners

* Downgrade weighs on British Land

By Kit Rees

LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - UK shares dipped on Monday and were close to revisiting a three-month low as financial stocks fell on geopolitical jitters, though metal prices propped up the heavyweight mining sector.

The blue chip FTSE 100 was down 0.2 percent at 7,306.67 points by 0853 GMT, set for its third straight session of losses, in line with a broader “risk-off” move among European bourses.

Financials were the biggest weights, taking nearly 9 points off the blue chips, with HSBC and Barclays down 0.6 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.

The financial sector has been hit particularly hard by a global move to dump risk assets as geopolitical tensions between the United States and North Korea have bubbled up over the past fortnight.

“Gains across the board for commodities are looking like the main driver,” Henry Croft, research analyst at Accendo Markets, said.

“It’s definitely the risk assets that do get hit when you see geopolitical tensions rise. Alongside that you have a mixed overview for British banks, what’s going to happen in the future - it’s looking less and less likely that we’re going to see a Bank of England rate hike,” Croft added.

Mining stocks were a bright spot, however, with shares in Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Glencore and Anglo American up between 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent.

The sector was helped by a rise in metal prices, with copper up 1 percent and zinc hitting its highest in a decade as investors piled into metals used by China’s steel sector.

Miners are among some of the biggest gaining FTSE stocks this year, with Antofagasta up more than 41 percent and Glencore up 24.3 percent.

While there weren’t any outsized moves among individual stocks on the day, British Land Company’s shares declined more than 1 percent, under pressure after broker HSBC cut its rating on the real estate company to “hold” from “buy”.

“The large UK-proxy property companies are particularly prone to UK-centric economic and political events, which has evidently left them devoid of any re-rating impetus, underscored by a declining UK GDP growth trajectory,” analysts at HSBC said in a note.

British mid-caps were also depressed, down 0.2 percent, with industrials and tech firms taking the most points off the index.

Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Mark Potter

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