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18 Feb 2021 | 14:37

FTSE 100 movers: Banks retreat after Barclays results; miners rally

(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 100 was down 1.2% at 6,628.37 in afternoon trade on Thursday. Barclays lost ground even after it reinstated its dividend and said it would buy back up to £700m of shares as the bank reported annual profit ahead of forecasts. The bank said it would pay an annual dividend of 1p per share and that including the buyback the shareholder payout would be 5p per share. Analysts had on average forecast a dividend of 3.5p per share.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "Shareholders seem a little underwhelmed. The headline profit figures were better than expected and the balance sheet looks robust ... but the outlook statement is cautious and understandably packed with caveats.

"This may be why Barclays is taking baby steps when it comes to dividends and leaning towards a buyback. Starting or reining in a buyback programme is a much less dramatic statement of intent than increasing or cutting a dividend."

Other banks followed suit, with Lloyds, NatWest and HSBC also lower.

Smith & Nephew fell after the medical technology business posted a fall in full-year profits as the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of elective procedures.

Imperial Brands, GlaxoSmithKline and BP were all weaker as their stock went ex-dividend.

Miners were among the top gainers, with Glencore, Rio Tinto and BHP all higher as copper prices rallied.

Equipment rental firm Ashtead was also in the back after an initiation at 'buy' at Goldman Sachs. The bank said: "We think there is room for further re-rating as we believe we are at the beginning of an upgrade cycle supported by improving cyclical trends."

FTSE 100 - Risers

Glencore (GLEN) 293.70p 1.91% Evraz (EVR) 537.80p 1.63% Kingfisher (KGF) 278.90p 1.27% Ashtead Group (AHT) 3,916.00p 1.14% Sage Group (SGE) 601.80p 0.94% WPP (WPP) 838.20p 0.92% Rio Tinto (RIO) 6,291.00p 0.90% Pearson (PSON) 763.60p 0.71% Aviva (AV.) 363.30p 0.47% BHP Group (BHP) 2,254.50p 0.45%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,418.00p -5.78% Barclays (BARC) 147.32p -4.56% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 97.74p -4.46% Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,502.00p -4.18% Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 37.51p -3.64% NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 171.95p -3.48% HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 417.50p -3.41% GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,233.40p -3.37% BP (BP.) 271.90p -3.10% Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,803.50p -3.04%

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