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Trade friction halts FTSE rally, Pendragon tanks on profit alert

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Trade friction halts FTSE rally, Pendragon tanks on profit alert
FILE PHOTO: Traders 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) – London’s main stock market index eased on Wednesday as the latest exchange of blows between Washington and Beijing kept investors on edge about the risks to global growth, while small-cap car dealership chain Pendragon sank after a profit alert.

The FTSE 100 retreated from a seven-day winning streak to fall 0.3% while the mid-cap FTSE 250 was 0.2% by 0715 GMT. They are up almost 3% so far this month, undoing most of the impact of a global slide in stock markets in May.

Heavyweight financial stocks were the biggest drags on the blue chip index, while companies with more international exposure such as British American Tobacco and Reckitt Benckiser fell.

Pendragon tumbled 19% to a more than six-year low as it warned that significant declines in new car and used car registrations would lead it to report a pre-tax loss for the current year.

Online fashion group Boohoo, operating in a tough retail market that saw hits to fashion retailer Ted Baker and fast fashion chain Quiz Plc on Tuesday, slipped 5% despite posting robust quarterly sales growth.

Traders said the move may have been spurred by a small contraction in the company’s gross margin for the quarter.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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