UPDATE 2-Asia-focused banks lead FTSE 100 lower as trade tensions flare

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-Asia-focused banks lead FTSE 100 lower as trade tensions flare
Credit: © Reuters.

(There will be no London stock market report on Monday May 25 due to a UK public holiday.)

* HSBC, StanChart tumble to multi-year lows

* FTSE 100 set for second straight monthly gain

* Both major indexes log strongest week in six

* April retail sales crash, May consumer confidence sinks

* FTSE 100 down 0.4%, FTSE 250 up 0.1% (Adds comments, updates to close)

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain

May 22 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 fell on Friday, dragged down by Asia-focused lenders after China's proposal to impose national security laws on Hong Kong compounded trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE declined 0.4%, with Prudential PRU.L sliding 9.3% to the bottom of the index while HSBC HSBA.L slipped to its lowest since 2009.

China's plan also raised fears of more pro-democracy protests in Asia's financial hub. may have been more focused on the continued unhelpful dialogue between the U.S. and China, hence they chose to trim some risk exposure," said Ian Williams (NYSE: WMB ), economics & strategy research analyst at Peel Hunt.

The domestically focused FTSE 250 .FTMC , nudged 0.1% higher, boosted by pub operator Marstons MARS.L which surged 102.7% after saying it would combine its brewing business with Carlsberg (CSE: CARLa ) UK. major indexes logged their strongest week in six, with the FTSE 100 now up more than 22% from its mid-March lows, supported by aggressive stimulus measures and hopes of a recovery from a deep coronavirus-fuelled economic slump.

Data on Friday showed retail sales fell by the most on record in April, while British consumer confidence in early May sunk to its joint-lowest level since the global financial crisis. releases had little obvious impact on equity markets, which have been behaving as if April was the low point for several weeks now," Williams said.

Transport operator Go-Ahead Group GOG.L slumped 10.6% after warning the pandemic would hit its profit this year. retailer Burberry Group Plc BRBY.L rose 3.3% after its chief executive said the company was encouraged by a "strong rebound" in some parts of Asia, having earlier reported a 27% slump in comparable sales in the final quarter of its year, which ended with about 60% of its stores closed. Airways-owner IAG ICAG.L fell 7% and easyJet Plc EZJ.L was down 3% with the country to introduce a COVID-19 quarantine for travellers arriving from overseas from June 8.

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