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* Consumer companies lead slide
* Royal Mail tumbles to December 2020 lows
* Homeserve jumps after Brookfield's buyout offer
* FTSE 100 down 1.8%, FTSE 250 off 1.3%
May 19 (Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 tumbled on Thursday as
investors globally fretted over the broadening impact of
inflation on economic growth and corporate profits, while Royal
Mail slumped after reporting disappointing results.
The export-oriented FTSE 100 dropped 1.8%, joining a
rout in global markets, with the stronger pound weighing on
Unilever, Diageo, Reckitt Benckiser
, and British American Tobacco were down between
1.7% and 5.3%, while supermarket chain Tesco dropped
Investors wiped almost 25% off U.S. retailer Target's
shares on Wednesday after its profit halved, and it fell
another 4.9% on Thursday.
"Target is more of a discount retailer. The expectation
would've been that they may have not been hit so badly by the
slowdown in consumer spending. Inflation hit them worse," said
Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading
"You're seeing that across the retailers this morning in
Europe, (they're falling) on expectation that they will also
take a hit. There is no hiding place on the bad news."
Royal Mail was fell 12.4% to its lowest level since
December 2020 after its full-year profit came in slightly below
market expectations and the postal company warned of margin
pressures in the United States.
Oil and gas stocks also declined as worries
about slowing global economic growth knocked crude prices.
Data this week showed British inflation hit a 40-year peak
in April, deepening worries about the pain inflicted on
consumers and a potential recession.
The FTSE 100 and the domestically focussed midcap
indexes have lost almost 2% so far this week.
On Thursday, housebuilder Countryside Partnerships Plc
slid 1.6% after it posted a lower half-year profit as
the group recovers from operational issues including costly
expansions and losses from manufacturing businesses.
Low-cost carrier easyJet inched 0.1% higher after
saying that bookings in the past 10 weeks were consistently
above pre-pandemic levels.
HomeServe jumped 10.2% to the top of the midcap
index after Canada's Brookfield Asset Management said
it had agreed to buy the British home repair services firm for
4.08 billion pounds ($5.04 billion).
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing
by Subhranshu Sahu and Aditya Soni, William Maclean)