(Refiles to correct typo in headline)
* FTSE 100 down 0.7 percent to 5,766.80 points
* Concerns over weak company results hit the market
* Traders see FTSE 100 prone to further sell-off
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Concerns over weak company
results sent British blue-chip shares lower on Friday, and
traders said the difficult corporate and economic environment
made the market prone to a bigger sell-off.
The benchmark FTSE 100 fell by 0.7 percent, or 38.25
points, to 5,766.80 points by around midday.
Although data on Thursday showed Britain exited recession in
the third quarter with stronger-than-forecast growth of 1.0
percent, many investors expect the UK economy to remain weak.
Underscoring the tough climate, bellwether retailer John
Lewis reported a slowdown in sales growth on Friday,
while a fall in the price of copper caused UK mining shares
to slip lower.
"With the way the earnings season is going, this correction
could continue," said Central Markets chief strategist Richard
According to Thomson Reuters Starmine data, 32 percent of
the companies on Britain's broader FTSE 350 index have missed
expectations for their third-quarter earnings.
Mining company African Barrick Gold downgraded its
2012 production forecast on Friday, sending its shares down by
3.8 percent, while chemicals maker Elementis slid 6.2
percent after warning of a hit to full-year profits.
Technical analysis also shows that the FTSE 100 index is
The index is edging closer to the 200-day simple moving
average at around 5,720 points, and a drop below that level
would be taken by many traders as a signal to sell off the
Steven Mayne, Managing Director of EGR Broking, said he
would keep a "short" bet - which wagers on future falls - out on
the FTSE down to around the 5,720 level.
"I'm still 'short'. You can imagine that the market will
keep moving down," he said.
(Editing by Susan Fenton)