FTSE 100 dips ahead of rate decision

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The market edged lower in early trade as investors prepared themselves for the latest Bank of England decision on interest rates.

The Bank is widely expected to raise rates to 0.5% from 0.25%, the first increase for a decade.

The benchmark FTSE 100 share index was down 6.87 points at 7,481.09.

Gold miner Randgold was biggest faller in the index, down 6% after it reported lower output and profits for the third quarter.

Gold production fell 9% from the previous quarter while profits were down 41% to $60.2m.

Shares in Morrisons fell 1.2%, despite the UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain reporting its eighth straight quarter of sales growth.

Like-for-like sales grew 2.5% in the third quarter, down slightly from 2.6% in the previous three-month period.

In the FTSE 250 shares in Playtech dived 20% after the gambling technology company issued a profit warning.

Playtech said a slowdown in Asia and issues with its Sun Bingo contract meant that the group’s “performance for the full year will be around 5% below the bottom end of market expectations”.

But Howden Joinery was having a better day after it said trading in recent months had been “good” with total revenue up 8.2% in the 20 weeks to 28 October. Shares in the company were up 8%.

On the currency markets, the pound was unchanged against the dollar at $1.3246 and was also flat against the euro at €1.1394.

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