FTSE 100 falls as Apple warning adds to growth worries

FTSE 100 falls as Apple warning adds to growth worries
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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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