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London stocks retreat on mixed earnings, Sino-U.S. tensions

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* FTSE 100 down 1.4%, FTSE 250 off 0.7%

July 24 (Reuters) - London-listed shares fell on Friday as a batch of mixed quarterly earnings updates and souring U.S.-China relations dulled optimism about a post-pandemic economic recovery, with education firm Pearson sliding after posting a first-half loss.

Pearson tumbled 2.7% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 even as is said it had seen a rebound in demand since June.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 1.4% and on course for its biggest weekly decline in six. Fewer than 10 stocks on the index were trading higher.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 shed 0.7%, with cyclical stocks including consumer discretionary, financial and industrial firms being among the biggest drags.

British Gas owner Centrica Plc jumped 26.4% to its highest in more than four months after it said it would sell its North American business Direct Energy to NRG Energy for $3.63 billion in cash. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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