Ex-dividend stocks push FTSE lower

London Stock ExchangeA fightback for Standard Chartered shares and a decent trading update from miner Rio Tinto has failed to boost the FTSE 100 Index.

The top flight was 27.8 points lower at 5813.4 after a number of high-profile stocks went ex-dividend, meaning that shares no longer hold the right to the most recent shareholder award.
This was responsible for an estimated 25 points of the FTSE's decline, with the likes of AstraZeneca off 71.75p to 3011.5p and Royal Dutch Shell down 23.75p at 2342.75p.

Standard Chartered showed sign of recovery after losing 16% of its value on Tuesday in the wake of a US regulator's accusations that the bank was a "rogue institution" for allegedly breaching sanctions on Iran.

The UK bank has hit back, saying 99.9% of the alleged transactions complied with regulations and that any breaches were "small clerical errors". Shares were 85p higher at 1315p, a rebound of 7%.

Rio Tinto was also on the risers board after it posted first half figures that were in line with expectations and said it expected a pick up in demand in the fourth quarter. Shares were 51.5p higher at 3182.5p, but there was little reaction from other stocks in the sector.

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