Weak financial shares drag down FTSE 100

London stock brokers (file photo) Image copyright AFP

(Noon): The FTSE 100 lost ground as shares in financial firms wilted.

Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered fell 1.9% after analysts at Barclays cut their rating of the shares. Consumer finance firm Provident Financial and insurer Standard Life were both down almost 2%.

Shares in house builder Berkeley remained the top performer on the FTSE 100 with a 3% gain.

Investors were encouraged by its full-year results.

Berkeley said there had been a rise in customers cancelling reservations for new homes after the Brexit vote, but that had now returned to normal.

It added that property prices remained "resilient".

Meanwhile Redrow, Wales' biggest house builder, said pre-tax profits had risen 23% to £250m.

Redrow shares were up nearly 7% by noon.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 17 points lower at 6,861.

On the currency markets, the pound was up 0.2% against the dollar, at $1.3333. Against the euro, it just a touch higher at €1.1938.