* FTSE 100 index falls 1 pct, hits 2-week low
* Retailer Sport Direct falls 10.7 percent
* Associated British Foods down 3.7 pct
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, April 8 Britain's top share index hit a
two-week low on Tuesday, led by Sports Direct after its
founder sold a chunk of shares in the company, and financials
lost ground due to concerns about valuations and earnings.
Sports Direct was the worst-performing FTSE 100 stock in
percentage terms, falling by 10.7 percent after founder Mike
Ashley sold 25 million shares.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index extended the previous
session's loss of 1.1 percent and was down by another 1 percent
to 6,553.80 points by 1115 GMT after touching 6,549.75, the
lowest since late March.
The market also came under pressure due to a sell-off in
insurance and banking shares. Investors were taking a cautious
stand in the near term ahead of the earnings season and due to
concerns about valuations, lingering geopolitical concerns and
"Expectations are clearly too high for global growth this
year and I believe the markets are re-pricing risk," Michael
Jarman, head of equity strategy at H2O Markets, said.
"However, I believe this is a perfect opportunity for
investors to get more active. There is an armoury of cash ready
to 'buy the dip'."
Financials were the worst hit, with Lloyds down 3.4
percent, Barclays down 2.7 percent, Resolution
falling 3.8 percent and Prudential retreating 2.6 percent.
Insurers also slipped in knee-jerk reaction to news saying
Britain's insurance industry has urged its regulator to hold a
fully independent inquiry into how news of a review into the
sector was released.
Shares in the sector tumbled on March 28 after the Financial
Conduct Authority told a newspaper it was reviewing part of the
industry, raising fears that profitability would be hit.
"The insurance sector as a whole has come under scrutiny
over the course of recent weeks because of regulatory concerns.
Investors are already a bit worried and this kind of news adds
to uncertainty and concerns," said Peter Dixon, economist at
Among other sharp movers, food and fashion conglomerate
Associated British Foods fell 3.7 percent, with traders
attributing ABF's fall to a profit warning on Tuesday by German
sugar producer Suedzucker.
According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, Associated
British Foods is on a price to earnings per share (P/E) ratio of
25.9 for the next 12 months - giving it a higher rating than
similar P/E ratios of 12.7 for rival Tate & Lyle and
18.3 for France's Danone.
JNF Capital investment manager Ed Smyth said he believed
ABF's rating was too high. "We believe ABF is simply
overvalued," he said.
(Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Mark