April 23, 2020 / 7:32 AM / a month ago

UK's FTSE 100 lags as Unilever report underwhelms

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* FTSE 100 flat, FTSE 250 adds 1.0%

April 23 (Reuters) - UK’s FTSE 100 lagged its European peers on Thursday as consumer giant Unilever said coronavirus lockdown measures took a toll on its quarterly sales.

On a busy day for earnings and economic data, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index was flat at 0718 GMT, while the domestically focused FTSE 250 index gained 1%.

Shares in Unilever Plc fell 5.6% as it pulled its full-year forecast, adding that a sharp decline in shopping and restaurant trips in China during first quarter offset gains from stay-at-home consumers stockpiling in Europe and North America.

Shares in Reckitt Benckiser fell 1.2%.

Investors awaited UK flash PMI readings, due at 0830 GMT, with a Reuters poll forecasting business activity contracted at the fastest rate by far in April since the survey began over 20 years ago. The index is expected to drop to 31.4 points.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.15%. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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