Renewable Energy

HSBC, exporter stocks drag FTSE 100 lower, mid-cap Kier slumps

Credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE

London's FTSE 100 fell on Friday as Asia-focused banks took a hit from underwhelming Chinese industrial growth data, while Kier tumbled after a report it was planning to sell its housebuilding unit for a lower-than-expected price.

FTSE 100 down 0.4%, FTSE 250 down 0.1%

Financials, dollar earners drag on main index

Kier slumps after report of sale of housebuilding unit

Recruiter SThree rises after strong international hiring

Adds news items, analyst comments, updates share prices

June 14 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 fell on Friday as Asia-focused banks took a hit from underwhelming Chinese industrial growth data, while Kier tumbled after a report it was planning to sell its housebuilding unit for a lower-than-expected price.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE shed 0.4% by 0754 GMT as exporter stocks also weighed. The FTSE 250 .FTMC fell 0.1%, tugged lower by Kier's 14% plunge.

Banks with exposure to Asia, pressured this week amid protests in Hong Kong against a Chinese extradition bill, slipped after China's industrial output growth slowed to a more than 17-year low.

HSBC HSBA.L and Prudential PRU.L were among the biggest drags on the blue-chip index, as the data once again underlined the knock on effects of China's protracted trade dispute with the United States.

Builder Kier KIE.L, whose shares lost over a third in value last week following a profit warning, sank after The Times reported that the company was preparing to offload its housebuilding business.

"At face value, the amount quoted of 100-150 million pounds would be disappointing for the whole business and compares to management's own assessment... at FY 2018 of 291 million pounds," Liberum analysts wrote.

The dollar was subdued ahead of a key U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week where investors are betting on an interest rate cut amid sustained concerns over global growth.

Companies that book a major chunk of earnings in the greenback, such as BAT BATS.L and Diageo DGE.L, gave up 1%each.

Gold and other precious metals were in demand as a result. Miner Fresnillo FRES.L added 2%.

Oil majors Shell RDSa.L and BP BP.L were the bright spots on the main index, as crude prices rose for a second day after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman stoked worries about crude flows through a key international shipping route. O/R

Small-cap SThree STHR.L, which hires workforce for financial, energy, banking and pharmaceutical companies, gained 3% as its net fees rose due to strength in its international markets.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

((Shashwat.Awasthi@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S.+1 646 223 3403; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3403; Reuters Messaging: shashwat.awasthi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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