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FTSE 100 flat as banks offset surge in AB Foods

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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* FTSE 100 flat, FTSE 250 adds 0.2%

Nov 9 (Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 held steady on Tuesday as banks offset a jump in Primark-owner Associated British Foods that was fuelled by upbeat earnings outlook and dividend.

AB Foods jumped 6.2% to the top of the blue-chip index after it forecast a significant increase in sales and profit at its Primark fashion chain in its new financial year and announced a special dividend.

The FTSE 100 index was flat by 0819 GMT, while the domestically focussed mid-cap index added 0.2%.

Weighing on the markets, the banking sector fell 0.5%, with HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds all down about 1%.

Homebuilders gained 0.6% after Persimmon and Vistry Group Plc highlighted strong demand in the housing market and forecast upbeat outlook despite supply chain pressures. (Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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