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Miners knock FTSE from highs as Cobham slumps

Miners knock FTSE from highs as Cobham slumps

Miners dragged the FTSE 100 off a one-month high as the copper price fell, while a number of stocks trading 'ex-dividend' weighed on the index.

The UK blue-chip benchmark fell 35 points, or 0.5%, to 7,266, falling from a one-month high yesterday, as the index breached the 7,300 mark for the first time since reaching all-time highs last month.

Miners were prominent among the fallers, with Anglo American (AAL) dropping 2.7% to £13.57 and Antofagasta (ANTO) down 2.1% at 847.5p.

Stocks trading without entitlement to their latest dividend also dropped to the bottom of the FTSE 100. AstraZeneca (AZN) was down 3.8% at £45.05, Shell (RDSb) fell 2% to £22.30, BP (BP) dropped 1.8% to 449.2p and Imperial Brands (IMB) was off 2.1% at £36.24.

The big moves were to be found on the FTSE 250, where Cobham (COB) dived 19.7% to 108.7p after the defence and aerospace group issued another profit warning and took a charge on a troubled contract with Boeing.

Shares in Drax (DRX) were also hit, down 8.9% at 345.3p as profits at the power producer were hit by weak energy prices.

Lancashire (LRE) was the biggest riser on the index, up 8.8% at 740p after the insurer reported better-than-expected 2016 profits.

Among 'small cap' stocks, Laura Ashley (ALY) fell 6.7% to 17.5p after the fashion and homeware retailer said full-year profits would miss investor expectations.

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