FTSE down as price falls hit miners

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The FTSE 100 index fell 10.4 points to 6013.4

London’s leading share index has extended losses as commodity price falls hit miners and as the recent flurry of major retail trading updates came to an end.

A quieter session for Christmas sales news saw the FTSE 100 index fall 10.4 points lower to 6013.4 on Friday following a subdued session on Wall Street overnight.

Miners were among the biggest fallers, with Xstrata leading the sector’s declines with a 23p fall to 1490.5p.

Corporate news was focused outside the FTSE 100 as smaller cap stocks reported on recent trading.

Bovis Homes sparked share gains in the housebuilding sector as it said 2010 profits were expected to beat market forecasts.

The group said average selling prices rose 4% last year and will restart dividend payments for the first time since mid-2008.

Bovis shares rose 2% or 7.2p to 432.4p, helping rivals higher. Taylor Wimpey added 0.6p to 33.9p and Berkeley Group gained 11p to 954p.

Car dealership Lookers enjoyed a 4% rise, up 2.3p to 64.3p, after the group said it will deliver results at the top end of analysts’ forecasts after its recent strong run continued through the fourth quarter.

But a profit warning from building services group T Clarke sent shares plunging by 20%, down 24.8p to 101.8p, as it said markets remain under pressure following the recession, with woes compounded by last month’s snow.

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