July 22, 2020 / 7:26 AM / 23 days ago

FTSE 100 retreats as virus fears dent recovery optimism

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* FTSE 100 down 0.1%, FTSE 250 up 0.4%

July 22 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 dipped on Wednesday as a worsening COVID-19 pandemic dulled optimism around a swift economic recovery, while Melrose Industries slumped after booking a quarterly loss.

Turnaround specialist Melrose tumbled 9.7% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 as it signalled it could cut jobs to rein in costs to combat the coronavirus-led downturn.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.1%, tracking declines in Europe with global coronavirus infections surging past 15 million. Healthcare, industrials and consumer staples stocks were among the biggest drags on the index.

The mid-cap FTSE 250, however, rose 0.4%, supported by real estate, consumer discretionary and tech stocks.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher jumped 7.5% as it forecast first-half underlying profit ahead of last year on strong second-quarter trading and cost reductions. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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