UPDATE 2-British midcaps hit over 3-month low; FTSE 100 outshines

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-British midcaps hit over 3-month low; FTSE 100 outshines
Credit: © Reuters.

* FTSE 100 up 0.4%, FTSE 250 down 0.5%

* U.S. health officials warn pandemic likely

* Diageo down after warning on virus impact

* Engineering firm Weir tops mid-caps on results (Adds news items, analyst comment, updates to closing prices)

By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shashwat Awasthi

Feb 26 (Reuters) - London's mid-cap index slid to its lowest in more than three months on Wednesday amid worries that Britain's upcoming budget may disappoint investors, while the FTSE 100 snapped a four-day losing run after a rally on Wall Street.

The FTSE 250 .FTMC shed 0.5%. The export-laden FTSE 100 .FTSE , which fell to a one-year low earlier, ended 0.4% higher as investors in the United States bought into stocks after a recent sell-off triggered by concerns over the coronavirus. .N

Firms more exposed to the British economy underperformed and sterling climbed lower, mainly due to concerns that new finance minister Rishi Sunak's budget in March may not deliver the level of fiscal spending expected by markets. GBP/

Meanwhile among blue-chips, miner Rio Tinto RIO.L and Diageo DGE.L became the latest multinational firms hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with the latter shedding nearly 1%. you have the likes of Diageo talking numbers and how this is going to affect profit and loss, in market terms, the reality factor is in your face," said Keith Temperton, a trader at Tavira Securities.

"I don't see that reversing until we see evidence of a peak in (virus) numbers and that's not going to happen until quite some time."

Another casualty of the coronavirus was travel-food firm SSP SSPG.L , which skidded 5% to a more than two-year low after it warned of a 50% fall in February sales across the Asia Pacific region. Peer WH Smith SMWH.L gave up 3.6%. are neat examples of how there is a real demand destruction that occurs when the coronavirus hits," Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said.

The rapid spread of the deadly virus outside China sparked a sell-off that has erased about $3 trillion from the value of global stocks in the past four days. MKTS/GLOB

Late on Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted Americans to begin preparing for a likely pandemic. the disease is believed to have peaked in China, where it first originated late last year, the resulting hit to factory output and consumer spending has threatened global economic growth in 2020.

Frankie & Benny's owner Restaurant Group RTN.L fell 7.2% after saying it would reduce the number of sites in its leisure business and temporarily suspend its dividend. the few gainers, engineering firm Weir WEIR.L jumped 11% on its best day since June 2010 to top the mid-caps after posting higher annual profit.

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