May 20, 2019 / 7:58 AM / 6 months ago

Trade jitters drag UK shares, turbulence hits Ryanair

(Reuters) - Britain’s main share index slipped again on Monday as worries over international trade increased on the back of U.S. curbs on China’s Huawei, while weak results from Ryanair triggered a sell-off in airlines across the board.

FILE PHOTO: Traders looks at financial information on computer screens on the IG Index trading floor in London, Britain February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

The FTSE 100 gave up 0.5% and the mid-cap index was 0.8% lower.

The indexes, however, fared better than their European peers whose chipmakers were hit as sentiment were grim in the wake of the crackdown on Huawei.

Concerns about the possible escalation of the U.S.-China trade conflict hung in the air after Google suspended some business with Huawei.

“Seeing as the U.S. have taken a tough stance against Huawei, traders are not hopeful that the US-China trade dispute will be resolved quickly,” CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

“While the U.S.-China trade situation remains in limbo, sentiment is likely to be poor.”

Asia-facing stocks including HSBC and Prudential were among the biggest drags on the main index.

In news-driven moves, Coca-Cola HBC AG, which was seen as a potential buyer for CCBA, slumped nearly 7% after NYSE-listed Coca-Cola Co dropped plans to refranchise its Africa bottling business CCBA.

Ryanair’s London-listed stock fell about 5% to a four-month low after the low-cost airline reported its weakest annual profit in four years amid struggles with overcapacity, Brexit and delays in delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX.

The poor reading dragged down British Airways-owner IAG, easyJet and Wizz Air.

“Increased passenger numbers are boosting headline revenues, and optional extras like paninis and hold baggage are selling like hotcakes, but that hasn’t been enough to offset the effect of declining ticket prices on profitability,” Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Laith Khalaf said.

Among midcaps, a stand-out faller was Madame Tussauds-owner Merlin Entertainments which slipped 7% on its worst day since last October after a double downgrade by HSBC.

Small-cap Low & Bonar tumbled 24.5% to a record low after the polymer products maker announced CEO departure and cut full-year targets due to a hit to sales from the U.S.-China trade war.

Real estate agent Foxtons lost 4.7% after it said its CFO was leaving the company and that UK property sales were running at record lows due to the impact of Brexit on consumer confidence.

For a graphic on Ryanair lags rivals and the wider index, see -

Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, Editing by Keith Weir and Ed Osmond

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