US-China trade tensions haunt London’s FTSE 100

People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London August 25, 2015. — Reuters pic
People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London August 25, 2015. — Reuters pic

LONDON, May 9 — UK blue-chip shares fell back to six-week lows today, pressured by renewed trade tensions between the United States and China, while insurer RSA advanced after a trading update.

The FTSE 100, which draws more than two-thirds of its earnings from abroad, was 0.5 per cent lower by 0723 GMT. The midcaps gave up 0.6 per cent.

Industrials, miners and Asia-exposed stocks led the fall on the main index after US President Donald Trump accused China of breaking the deal they had reached in trade talks.

Energy supplier Centrica, oil heavyweight BP and insurer Admiral all dipped as they traded ex-dividend, heavily weighing on the blue-chip bourse.

Luxury brand Burberry, which is vulnerable to a hit to the Asian economy, gave up 2 per cent.

All but two sectors were in the negative territory by 0712 GMT, although an upbeat first-quarter update showing a rise in net written premiums helped insurer RSA inch 1.4 per cent higher.

Another gainer was Ocado with a 1.1 per cent rise after it tweaked the terms of its deal with Morrisons and said it bought a minority stake in robotics start-up Karakuri.

Small-cap Superdry dropped as much as 7 per cent after the fashion retailer warned on profit again, even as as founder Julian Dunkerton works to revamp the brand. — Reuters