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* AstraZeneca jumps on positive cancer drug trial results
* Growth fears cause hefty drop in UK consumer confidence
* Outsourcer Mitie Group gains on positive profit forecast
* FTSE 100 down 0.4%, FTSE 250 off 0.9%
Sept 24 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 ended lower on Friday
as concerns about a slowdown in global economic growth
outweighed gains in healthcare and energy stocks.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index eased 0.4%, but snapped
its three-week losing streak. Retailers,
industrial miners and life insurers
were the top losers.
"Miners were weak as investors started worrying about the
potential fall-out should Evergrande go bust. Commodities demand
could tumble if the Chinese property market experiences a
crash," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
Limiting further losses were healthcare stocks
led by AstraZeneca, which jumped 2.0%
after trials of its prostate cancer drug Lynparza showed
The index has gained nearly 1.3% this week, recording its
best week since mid-August, with the healthcare and energy
stocks leading the rally.
However, growing worries over energy bills, food costs and
tax hikes prompted a hefty drop in British consumer confidence
this month as people became more downbeat about the economic
"Persistent and rising inflation would suggest that central
banks have to act soon to get the situation under control which
means interest rate hikes sooner rather than later," Mould
UK's benchmark bond yields jumped to their
highest since March 2020, signalling rising inflation pressures.
The FTSE 100 has gained nearly 9.5% so far this year on
higher energy prices and accommodative central bank policies.
However, it has significantly underperformed a 17% rise in
its European peers as worries over slowing economic growth
coupled with higher inflation pressures weighed on investor
The domestically focussed mid-cap index fell 0.9%,
and marked its third weekly losses.
British outsourcer Mitie Group rose 2.0% after it
raised its fiscal 2022 profit forecast.
Land Securities fell 1.4% after saying it sold two
retail parks for 54.3 million pounds ($74.51 million) as part of
a plan to exit its non-core businesses.
Petrofac gained 24.8% after the oilfield services
provider reached a plea agreement with UK's fraud prosecutor
relating to the investigation into the company's past dealings
in the Middle East.
(Reporting by Shashank Nayar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing
by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Subhranshu Sahu and Giles Elgood)