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Markets

London stocks slide as retail sales crash, banks slump

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 1.8pc, with HSBC Plc and Standard Chartered Plc sliding 4.9pc and 3.6pc, respective
22 May 2020
  • The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 1.8pc, with HSBC Plc and Standard Chartered Plc sliding 4.9pc and 3.6pc, respectively.
  • The domestically focussed mid-cap index lost 1.2pc, but was still on track to end the week higher after being earlier boosted by hopes of a pickup in business activity.

UK stock markets fell more than 1pc 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 1.8pc, with HSBC Plc and Standard Chartered Plc sliding 4.9pc and 3.6pc, 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 1.2pc, 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 1.6pc after becoming the latest British firm to withdraw its dividend to boost cash reserves as it reported a 27pc drop in comparable sales in the final quarter of its year, which ended with about 60pc of its stores closed.