FTSE 100 down as investors await US jobs report

The leading share index was trading down in early trading, as investors were cautious ahead of October’s US jobs report.

The key US data is forecast to show non-farm payrolls rose 125,000 last month following a 114,000 increase in September.

Insurer Admiral Group was the biggest blue chip loser this morning, shedding more than five per cent, as it reported slow growth in the third quarter.

Pharmaceuticals firm Hikma fell 3.65 per cent, as it said it was considering the future of its generics business in New Jersey.

Egyptian gold miner Centamin dropped 3.2 per cent, as their shares resumed trading yesterday.

Retailer Mothercare lost 2.65 per cent in early trading.

Engineering and construction companies Costain and Balfour Beatty lost 2.39 per cent and two per cent respectively.

Utility group Pennon was another blue chip loser, shedding 1.88 per cent.

Topping the leaderboard once again was credit card insurer CPP Group, up 19 per cent on takeover talks.

Coal miner Bumi rose 7.57 per cent this morning. It announced today it had appointed Rothschild as its financial adviser.

Performance materials group Low & Bonar added 5.77 per cent, while interactive whiteboard maker Promethean increased 4.35 per cent. Last month it issued a profit warning that sent its share in a downward spiral.

Dixons Retail continued to perform well, adding 3.64 per cent, as its rival Comet called in the administrators.

UK banking shares had a mixed morning. HSBC lost 0.46 per cent, RBS lost 1.38 per cent as it reported a pre-tax loss for the third quarter, Barclays slipped 0.38 per cent, while Lloyds Banking Group was a standout gainer, adding 7.63 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 1.17 per cent, while the Dow Jones closed up 1.04 per cent.