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FTSE 100 falls amid trade concerns, weak earnings

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FTSE 100 falls amid trade concerns, weak earnings
FILE PHOTO: A broker looks at financial information on computer screens on the IG Index trading floor in London, Britain February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson   -   Copyright  SIMON DAWSON(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 inched lower amid uncertainty over this week’s U.S.-China trade talks and weak quarterly updates, which took down broadcaster ITV and insurer Direct Line.

The FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 were both down 0.1 percent by 0715 GMT.

Investors remained tentative before Chinese Vice Premier Liu He arrived in Washington to try to salvage a trade deal. Asia-exposed HSBC and Prudential again led the losses on the FTSE 100.

Direct Line Insurance shed 1.6 percent after Britain’s largest motor insurer reported a drop in quarterly gross written premiums. Rival Admiral Group gave up 1.7 percent.

Broadcaster ITV was 2.2 percent lower after it said the late timing of Easter and political and economic uncertainty led to weaker advertising demand in the first quarter.

Imperial Brands affirmed its full-year forecast, but the tobacco company’s shares fell 1.6 percent as half-year sales were only in line with analysts’ estimates.

Outperforming the mid-cap index was Travis Perkins, Britain’s largest distributor of building materials. It gained 4.6 percent on higher quarterly underlying sales.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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