Bookie GVC, weak China data lead to bets against FTSE 100

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Bookie GVC, weak China data lead to bets against FTSE 100
Credit: © Reuters.

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* FTSE 100 down 0.6 pct

* FTSE 250 down 0.6 pct

* GVC plunges after top execs sell shares

* Debenhams jumps on Mike Ashley's plans to take charge

* SIG, Bodycote gain on midcaps post results

March 8 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 slipped again on Friday as gambling firm GVC plunged as its top executives cut stakes, while weak Chinese export data rekindled global growth fears and investors remained daunted by Europe's central bank's downbeat economic outlook.

Struggling department store Debenhams was a bright spot on the UK indexes after Sports Direct's Mike Ashley made a move towards running the more than 240-year-old company.

The main index .FTSE and the FTSE 250 .FTMC were both down 0.6 percent by 0913 GMT.

GVC GVC.L plunged almost 16 percent hitting its lowest level since July 2016 and on track for its steepest drop in nearly nine years after its chairman and CEO sold some of their holdings in the company. fall in British stocks was in line with global mood that dragged Shanghai stocks by their most in five months. DEB.L jumped 24 percent after Sports Direct SPD.L Chief Executive Ashley's plans to forego his current role at Sports Direct to focus on small-cap Debenhams.

Sports Direct, founded by Newcastle United-owner Ashley, slipped 2 percent in response.

Earnings reports led some midcap stocks sharply higher despite the foul mood.

Building materials supplier SIG SHI.L jumped 10 percent as 2018 profits surged on cost control and thermal processing service provider Bodycote BOY.L rose 9 percent on a profit beat. placed both SIG and Bodycote on course for their best day in over two years.

However, tourism and insurance group Saga SAGAG.L slipped 6 percent after JP Morgan downgraded to "underweight" and said competitive markets were pressuring margins.

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