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British blue-chip index tugged down by oil shares; IWG lifts midcaps

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By Reuters
British blue-chip index tugged down by oil shares; IWG lifts midcaps
A financial trader works at their desk at CMC Markets in the City of London, Britain, April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls   -   Copyright  PETER NICHOLLS(Reuters)

(Reuters) – London’s main index was dragged into the red on Monday as oil majors weakened amid a dip in crude prices, offsetting gains in bank stocks, while office group IWG pushed midcaps higher after divestiture plans for its Japan business.

The FTSE 100 was 0.1 percent lower, while the FTSE 250 added 0.2 percent by 0720 GMT.

Shell and BP continued a three-day losing streak, following a dip in oil prices after a five-month high in the previous session despite support from concerns over global supplies. [O/R]

Meanwhile, financials inched towards a 6-month high, lifted higher by a read-across from upbeat results posted by U.S. bellwethers JP Morgan and Wells Fargo last week. Strong bank loan data from China also aided.

Lloyds, Prudential and Barclays were among best blue-chip performers.

Midcaps recorded strong news-related moves in early trading.

Serviced office space provider IWG surged 20 percent to a two-year high after plans to sell its Japanese operations for 320 million pounds and a double upgrade from Credit Suisse on the stock.

Mediterranean-focused Energean Oil & Gas jumped over 10 percent to a record high after announcing new gas discovery at Karish North exploration well.

Builder Kier added nearly 3 percent as it said its newly appointed CEO planned to review the business to cut debt and respond to problems afflicting the wider outsourcing industry.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)