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* BHP slips as annual profit misses estimates
* Outsourcer Capita plunges on first-half loss
* Persimmon jumps on reinstating dividend
* FTSE 100 down 0.4%, FTSE 250 gains 0.1% (Adds comments, updates prices)
By Sagarika Jaisinghani
Aug 18 (Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 dipped on Tuesday as lower oil prices and lacklustre earnings reports from miner BHP and outsourcer Capita sparked a round of profit-taking, while housebuilder Persimmon jumped after reinstating its dividend.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.4%, with losses in financial, healthcare and consumer staples stocks pulling the index back from what had so far been its best month since April.
Miner BHP Group was also among the biggest weights on the index, slipping 2.2% after reporting a lower-than-expected annual profit. The wider mining index tumbled 0.8%, but was still among the handful of FTSE sub-indexes close to breaking even for the year.
Aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus has returned global equities close to record highs from a coronavirus-driven crash in March despite data still indicating a nascent rebound in the real economy, and analysts said they expect a “buy everything” rally to push major benchmarks even higher.
“There are two ways the market reacts to weak data,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.
“Either investors scale back on risk holdings on expectations of further contraction in company revenues, or they ramp up risk allocation in the hope the bad figures would give a boost to stimulus talks.”
After China’s central bank said on Monday it would pump more money into financial markets, investors are betting on another dose of fiscal stimulus from the U.S. government.
In the UK, the mid-cap FTSE 250 added 0.1%, as a 9.4% plunge for outsourcer Capita Plc after a first-half loss was offset by a jump in engineering and consultancy firm Wood Plc even as its posted a 20.6% fall in core earnings.
Retailer Marks & Spencer slid 2.5% after saying it planned to cut a further 7,000 jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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