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LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 fell on Thursday as heavyweight financials and miners dropped, with Rio Tinto among top decliners in ex-dividend trading after it cut all ties with Russian businesses.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index slipped 0.5% in early trading, with banks, insurers and miners leading losses.

Yields on UK bonds - both longer and shorter-dated - dropped, snapping their three-day winning streak and weighing banking shares down 2.4%.

“I think today is very much just kind of paying back some of yesterday’s outsize move. Yesterday’s gains were overdone - probably they were a technical reaction to European markets being deeply oversold and were due some kind of bounce,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.

Joining the corporate exodus from Russia, Rio Tinto became the first major mining company to announce it was cutting all ties with Russian businesses. Shares of the miner were down 5.8%.

Adding further losses, energy shares fell 0.7% with oil majors Shell and BP down 1.3% each, despite a rebound in oil prices.

UK shares have been consistently outperforming markets in the United States and the rest of Europe this year, as rising oil prices have supported the commodity-heavy index.

The domestically focused mid-cap index advanced 0.3%, led by gains in real estate shares.

Among other stocks, Boohoo gained 15.4% after the online fashion retailer forecast 2021-22 core earnings in line with reduced guidance as it reported an expected slowdown in revenue growth in its latest quarter.

Evraz Plc fell 10.3% after the Russian steelmaker cancelled an interim dividend payment on Wednesday, citing uncertainties related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

National Express gained 4.2% on plans to resume dividend payouts in 2022 as the bus and train operator forecast revenue this year to inch close to pre-pandemic levels as travel activity recovers.

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