* FTSE 100 down 0.2 pct
* Consumer staples lead fallers after Unilever disappoints
* Kingfisher and easyJet also fall after updates
* German PMI prompts recovery after poor French survey
EDINBURGH, July 24 UK shares fell on Thursday,
pegged back by a spate of poor corporate updates which knocked
the top British share index down through a key technical level.
The FTSE 350 Food Producers Index was the
heaviest sectoral faller, down 1.7 percent after earnings in the
sector missed expectations.
Consumer products group Unilever fell 2 percent
after slowing emerging markets and stagnant developed markets
saw the firm miss sales estimates.
Mid-cap sweetener maker Tate & Lyle also fell 2
percent after missing expectations for adjusted operating
In all, consumer staples firms took 4.5 points off the FTSE
100, with was down 15.65 points, or 0.2 percent, at
6,782.50 by 0805 GMT.
Outside of the sector, airline easyJet fell 4.1
percent after guiding that profit would grow between 14 percent
to 19 percent on Thursday, tempering market forecasts set at the
top end of the range.
Alastair McCaig, analyst at IG, said events such as the
World Cup may have affected people's holiday patterns and
believed the performance over the rest of the summer would be
"The strength of the pound makes taking a holiday that much
cheaper, and there's optimism that they might see a much more
impressive second half of the summer," McCaig said.
Top faller was home improvement retailer Kingfisher,
which slumped 7.1 percent after saying its European trading had
been worse than expected, especially in France and Poland.
"After warning back in May that profit growth will be slower
than expected, this does not sit well with traders who now have
eyes on an interim statement in September. They should expect
the worst," James Abbott, Trader at Accendo Markets, said.
A survey on Thursday showed further evidence of a weak
French economy, with a decent performance in the services sector
counteracted by weakness in manufacturing and concerns that
sentiment may slide over the coming months.
While better than expected PMI data out of Germany helped
shares rise off their early lows, the FTSE remains below the
6,800 level which had held as support in the previous two
sessions before the morning's fall.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Hugh Lawson)