London stocks track declines in Asia; Ladbrokes owner slides

Credit: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

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Surprise drop in China's retail sales hits global stocks

GVC tumbles on saying long-time CEO to depart

Personal goods firms, homebuilders, miners among decliners

Recruiter Hays, miner Anglo American slide on downbeat results

FTSE 100 down 0.9%, FTSE 250 off 0.6%

Adds comments; updates prices

By Shashank Nayar

July 16 (Reuters) - The FTSE 100 slipped from three-week highs on Thursday on a surge in global coronavirus infections and a surprise drop in China's retail sales, while Ladbrokes owner GVC tumbled after it said its long-time chief executive officer would step down.

GVC Holdings GVC.L fell 6% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after it said Kenny Alexander was retiring after 13 years at the helm.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE was down 0.9% and the mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC was 0.6% lower, tracking declines across Europe and Asia a day after sentiment was lifted by hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine. MKTS/GLOB

Data showed China's economy returned to growth in the second quarter, but retail sales were down 1.8% last month, pointing to a bumpy outlook at home and overseas.

"Possibly the second wave of COVID-19 headline deluge from the United States is having a decidedly negative effect on Chinese consumer behaviour, which could be extrapolated globally using China as a blueprint," said Stephen Innes, markets strategist at AxiCorp.

Personal goods firms .FTNMX3760, miners .FTNMX1770 and homebuilders .FTNMX3720 were among the biggest decliners on the day.

A raft of global stimulus helped the FTSE 100 rally about 27% from its March lows, but it is still down about 17% on the year and has trailed its European and Wall Street peers as economic data points to a slower-than-expected post-pandemic rebound.

Latest data showed the slide in Britain's jobs market eased last month, although the figures did not include the most recent slew of job losses and analysts said they represented a "calm before the storm".

In earnings-related news, recruiter Hays HAYS.L slipped 4.3% to the bottom of the FTSE 250 as it warned of lower annual profits amid a slump in fee income, while miner Anglo American AAL.L shed 2.5% after posting an 18% decline in overall second-quarter output.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

((Shashank.Nayar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))

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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