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FTSE 100 ends six day winning streak



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(Close): The FTSE 100 ended its six day winning streak, despite hitting new highs earlier in the session.

Figures showing that the UK inflation rate dropped to zero last month sent the index to an intraday high of 7065.1, before it fell back to close 18 points lower at 7019.68.

Shares in the plumbing company Wolseley helped drag the index lower, after it reported a fall in earnings.

Half-year pre-tax profits at the company fell 67% to £103m.

The results were hurt by a £245m impairment charge relating to its Nordic business.

Game Digital shares fell 5.8% after the retailer reported a 1.8% drop in half-year pre-tax profits to £33.2m. It also said its finance director, Benedict Smith, would be leaving the company later this year.

The pound weakened as analysts put back forecasts of when UK rates will rise.

On the currency markets, sterling was 0.3% lower against the euro at €1.3610, while against the dollar the pound was down 0.53% at $1.48770.

There is now speculation that the next UK rate move could be downwards. Last week, the Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane said rates were as likely to need cutting as raising in the immediate future.

"Equity traders are secretly delighted that CPI has dropped to zero as it edges the Bank of England closer to cutting interest rates from their already historic lows," said David Madden, market analyst at IG.

"Mark Carney has previously stated he would cut interest rates if necessary, and the market will be calling on Mr Carney to fulfil his promise."