June 9, 2020 / 8:36 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 2-London stocks end lower as HSBC, British American Tobacco weigh

    * BAT falls on profit and revenue forecast cuts  
    * Major HSBC shareholder concerned over support for HK law
    * Cyclical insurers, banks among biggest decliners
    * Stocks close lower for second consecutive day

 (Adds details, updates to close)
    By Shreyashi Sanyal and Ambar Warrick
    June 9 (Reuters) - London's bluechip index slid on Tuesday,
weighed down by forecast cuts from British American Tobacco,
while HSBC dropped after a leading shareholder said it was
uneasy over the company's decision to back a new security law in
Hong Kong.
    HSBC          fell 3.6% and was the biggest weight on the
FTSE 100 index         after Aviva Investors, a top-20 investor
in both the bank and peer Standard Chartered         , raised
concerns over their support for the law.             
    The blue-chip FTSE 100 declined 2.1%, with cigarette maker
British American Tobacco Plc          falling 3.1% after it
flagged a demand hit due to prolonged lockdowns in South Africa
and Mexico and weak sales in Bangladesh and Vietnam.
    The British mid-cap index         declined 2.1%, weighed
down by major industrials and real estate stocks.
    "There isn't the same amount of enthusiasm or risk appetite
right now for London stocks as opposed to the sentiment we are
seeing for U.S. or Asian stocks," said David Madden, markets
analyst at CMC markets UK. 
    "There is a pause in optimism among investors as London
stocks have underperformed other markets globally even before
the lockdown restrictions were put to place and continue to show
weakness in contrast to other markets (U.S. and Asia)." 
    But British stocks have marked a striking rise from lows hit
in March on hopes of an economic recovery after
coronavirus-driven curbs on social and business activity were
    Among shares, Bellway Plc         dropped 5.7%, dragging its
peers down with it, as the housebuilder sold fewer homes between
August and May due to restricted business activity induced by
the coronavirus lockdown.             
    Royal Dutch Shell Plc          said it will restart drilling
and begin redeploying some non-essential personnel on some of
its offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday and Tuesday
as conditions improve following tropical storm Cristobal. Shares
of the company, however, fell 4.4% tracking weaker oil prices.

 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru;
editing by Uttaresh.V and Lisa Shumaker)
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