AstraZeneca and BP top a subdued FTSE

THE TOP share index was extending losses from five straight sessions, down around 0.1 per cent in early trading, with the possibility that Cyprus might leave the Eurozone keeping a lid on sentiment.

The European Union yesterday gave Cyprus until Monday to raise billions of euros needed to secure an international bailout.

Pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca rose 3.2 per cent in early deals. Yesterday its new chief executive announced another 2,300 job cuts as he outlined his vision for turning around the struggling drugmaker.

Oil behemoth BP was up 2.2 per cent, as it this morning announced an $8bn share buyback programme following the sale of its 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP.

Telecoms giant BT and retailer Marks & Spencer were up 1.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.

Dragging the FTSE 100 down was luxury brand Burberry, shedding 4.4 per cent. This morning fellow luxury retailer Mulberry warned its profits would be lower than expected, which could have a negative read across for other luxury groups. Mulberry shares were trading down 16.6 per cent this morning.

Oil services group Petrofac sank 3.5 per cent, despite it this morning having its "overweight" rating reiterated by JP Morgan.

Financial shares were also in negative territory this morning. Lloyds Banking Group was the biggest faller, shedding 2.3 per cent. RBSwas down 2.2 per cent, HSBC was off by 0.7 per cent and Barclaysfell 0.3 per cent. Money manager Aberdeen Asset Managementalso shed 2.3 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed down 2.35 per cent and in the US the Dow Jones closed down 0.62 per cent.