January 30, 2020 / 8:35 AM / 21 days ago

FTSE 100 falls on coronavirus fears, dull earnings

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* FTSE 100 down 0.7%, FTSE 250 down 0.3%

* China-linked virus has so far killed 170 people

* WHO to decide if virus constitutes global emergency

* Shell, BT lead losses on main board

Jan 30 (Reuters) - London’s main index tumbled on Thursday as the rising death toll from the coronavirus in China kept investors on edge, while downbeat earnings led to a slide in the shares of heavyweights Shell and BT.

Countries have begun isolating hundreds of citizens evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan to stop the spread of the epidemic, while the World Health Organization may on Thursday reassess its stance on the outbreak.

The FTSE 100 gave up 0.7% and the FTSE 250 slid 0.3%, as dealers also eyed a Bank of England policy meeting amid expectations of an imminent interest rate cut.

Oil major Shell slid 4% to its lowest since July 2017 after its fourth-quarter profit halved. Telecom firm BT shed 4.6% after a worse-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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