February 27, 2020 / 8:18 AM / a month ago

London stocks slide further as virus risks spread

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* FTSE 100 down 1.9%, FTSE 250 slides 1.3%

* StanChart slips after warning on virus hit

* Tobacco firm BATS gains on strong results

Feb 27 (Reuters) - UK shares took another beating on Thursday, as a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases outside China raised fears of a global pandemic, sending investors scrambling to perceived safe-haven assets.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 fell 1.9%, while the domestically focussed mid-cap index shed 1.3%.

London’s main index has now fallen five of the past six sessions as the spread of the deadly virus deepens in Europe. Italy has emerged as the epicentre of the outbreak on the continent, while Germany has said it is already impossible to trace all chains of infection.

Standard Chartered fell 1.5% after warning that a key earnings target would take longer to meet as the epidemic added to headwinds in its main markets of China and Hong Kong. Rival HSBC slipped 3% in ex-dividend trading.

In a bright spot, world No.2 tobacco maker British American Tobacco rose 1.2% as it reported upbeat annual revenue, aided by relatively strong results in its traditional tobacco business and new segments. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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