December 18, 2018 / 8:45 AM / 3 months ago

Global growth worries and oil slide drag British stocks down

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* FTSE 100 down 0.6 pct

* FTSE 250 inches 0.3 pct lower

* Shell top drag on the main index

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s top stock index opened in the red on Tuesday following sharp losses on Wall Street and Asian markets as perpetuating concerns over slowing global growth and an oversupply of oil spooked investors.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.6 percent and the mid-cap index was 0.3 percent lower by 0830 GMT.

They were tracking losses on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 slipped to its lowest in over a year on persisting concerns of slowing global economy and a retail selloff led by a profit warning from online store ASOS.

Exacerbating the gloom was a forecast from the British Chambers of Commerce that growth in the world’s fifth-largest economy this year and the next looks set to be the weakest since the country’s last recession, due to a freeze in business investment and weak consumer demand ahead of Brexit.

Dragging the FTSE 100 down were oil and related stocks that faced pressure from a sharp fall in crude prices on oversupply worries.

Shell dipped nearly 2 percent after a Bloomberg report here that the oil giant is in talks to buy Texas-based Endeavor Energy Resources LP for about $8 billion.

Oil major BP also lost 1 percent, while oilfield and engineering services provider Wood Plc fell 2 percent.

Electricity and gas utility firm National Grid was among top blue-chip losers after Britain’s energy regulator proposed further cuts to the cost of capital for networks.

National Grid shares fell 3.8 percent.

Shire fell 4.2 percent, extending losses for the second session after rating agency Moody’s downgraded Takeda , saying that its takeover of Shire will cause an almost six-fold increase to the Japanese drugmaker’s debt.

Premier Oil and Tullow Oil fell 4.8 percent and 2.7 percent respectively to the bottom of the mid-cap index.

Embattled drugmaker Indivior’s shares fell 2.1 percent ahead of a Capital Markets Day during which the company is expected to detail its next steps, as it battles generic copycats of its key drugs.

Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, Editing by Helen Reid in London

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