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FTSE 100 falls as Apple warning adds to growth worries

FTSE 100 falls as Apple warning adds to growth worries
Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls -
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(Reuters) - A rare revenue warning from smartphone giant Apple triggered a new wave of selling in UK shares on Thursday as investors' fears of slowing global growth were confirmed and miners, oil, and luxury stocks fell.

Britain's FTSE 100 <.FTSE> and FTSE 250 <.FTMC> fell 0.2 percent by 0850 GMT, outperforming European peers thanks to a strong update by retailer Next which helped sentiment.

In a first in more than a decade, Apple <AAPL.O> on Wednesday cut its quarterly sales target with Chief Executive Tim Cook blaming weak iPhone sales in China and consumers upgrading their iPhones at a slower pace.

Investors reacted by dumping stocks sensitive to China and to the economy.

Concerns over economic growth in top metals consumer China sent Rio Tinto <RIO.L>, BHP <BHPB.L> and Antofagasta <ANTO.L> down 1.1 to 1.9 percent in early deals.

Crude prices fell on worries that an economic slowdown will cut into fuel demand, dragging oil majors BP <BP.L> and Shell <RDSa.L> down 0.4 to 0.8 percent.

Luxury stocks, which are also highly sensitive to China, were among top fallers with Burberry <BRBY.L> down 3.2 percent.

A bright spot helping keep a lid on negative sentiment was high street clothing retailer Next <NXT.L>, which jumped 5 percent after reporting higher sales in the run-up to Christmas, allaying fears of poor festive trading.

Next's encouraging update also boosted shares in Marks & Spencer <MKS.L> and Primark owner Associated British Foods <ABF.L> up 2 to 2.8 percent, among top blue-chip winners.

Investors' flight to gold, seen as a safe haven, pushed gold prices to a six-month high and helped boost gold miner Fresnillo <FRES.L> up 2.3 percent.

Among small-caps, drugmaker Vectura Group <VEC.L> soared 10.5 percent to lead FTSE small-cap gainers after saying it expects 2018 adjusted earnings to top market expectations.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru, Editing by Helen Reid)

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