May 29, 2020 / 7:17 AM / 2 months ago

London stocks retreat as U.S.-China tensions weigh

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* FTSE 100 down 0.9%, FTSE 250 off 0.8%

May 29 (Reuters) - UK shares fell for the first time this week on Friday, as fears over Washington’s response to Beijing tightening control over Hong Kong overshadowed optimism about a pickup in business activity with the easing of a coronavirus-induced lockdown.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.9%, with BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc among the biggest drags, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 shed 0.8% to snap a nine-day winning streak.

Banks tracked a decline in gilt yields as investors fled to perceived safe-haven assets ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s news conference on China’s move to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong that has raised concerns over its function as a global finance hub.

Building materials supplier SIG Plc jumped 8.2% on plans to raise 150 million pounds ($185.12 million) in new equity with U.S. buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), as it pointed to a bleak outlook after disappointing results. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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