May 22, 2020 / 7:21 AM / 10 days ago

London stocks slide as retail sales crash, banks slump

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* FTSE 100 down 1.8%, FTSE 250 off 1.2%

May 22 (Reuters) - UK stock markets fell more than 1% on Friday as a coronavirus-induced lockdown hammered retail sales in April, while Asia-focussed banks tumbled after China said it would impose new national-security laws on Hong Kong.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 1.8%, with HSBC Plc and Standard Chartered Plc sliding 4.9% and 3.6%, respectively, as China’s move raised fears of more pro-democracy protests that engulfed the Asian city last year.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index lost 1.2%, but was still on track to end the week higher after being earlier boosted by hopes of a pickup in business activity as the UK started easing its lockdown.

Luxury retailer Burberry Group Plc rose 1.6% after becoming the latest British firm to withdraw its dividend to boost cash reserves as it reported a 27% drop in comparable sales in the final quarter of its year, which ended with about 60% of its stores closed. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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