Britain's FTSE dips

London - Britain's leading blue-chip index fell in early trade on Wednesday, as a number of heavyweight firms traded ex-dividend, taking the FTSE back from the 5-year highs hit in the previous session.

Ex-dividend factors took around 8 points off the index, enough to take it into negative territory, as Barclays, Carnival, GlaxoSmithKline and Reckitt Benckiser all traded without entitlement to their latest payout.

A trader monitors the screen on a trading floor in London. Credit: Reuters

Barclays, GSK and Reckitt were three of the top four fallers on the index in early trade.

By 10:01 SA time, the FTSE 100 was down by 4.74 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,374.33, having risen 1 percent to post its highest close in five years on Tuesday. - Reuters