FTSE 100 OPEN: Antofagasta drops after dividend cut

The biggest faller in early trading was miner Antofagasta after it announced a 62.1% cut in its total dividend for 2011.

The miner cut its dividend to 44 cents, despite reporting an increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $3.7 billion (£2.4 billion), a 32.1% increase on 2010’s $2.8 billion.

Antofagasta dropped 2.7% to 1,236p (at 0809 GMT).

It was joined at the bottom by security services company G4S, which dropped 2.5% to 282.4p. Asset manager Schroders dropped 1% to 1,555p, biopharmaceutical company Shire slipped 0.3% lower to 2,237p, while consumer goods company Unilever shed 0.2% to 2,102p.

The biggest riser (at 0808 GMT) was testing services company Intertek, which climbed 2% to 2,503p.

Vedanta Resources and Standard Life both rose 1.8% to 1,394p and 241.8p, respectively. Both engingeer Weir Group and HSBC increased 1.5% to 1,970p and 564.2p, respectively.