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London stocks tumble as Russia-Ukraine tensions weigh

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By Reuters
FTSE 100 rises but heads for worst week in three months
FTSE 100 rises but heads for worst week in three months   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

By Ambar Warrick and Amal S

-UK shares fell on Monday, hit by souring risk sentiment across global equities following U.S. warnings that Russia could invade Ukraine at any time.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index sank 1.7% and recorded its worst session in three-weeks, with financial stocks leading declines. HSBC Holdings, Barclays, Lloyds Banking all fell between 1.6% and 5.2%.

The United States warned that Russia could invade Ukraine at any time, with Moscow having amassed more than 100,000 troops near the border. Fears of a possible conflict had battered most stock markets last week.

“Just as the storm of COVID appeared to be receding, the growing expectation of an invasion of Ukraine is the fresh threat now unnerving investors,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“The impact of the conflict could have on oil and gas prices, the cost of living and inflation in general, that type of angle weighed heavily given the markets are extremely tight,” said Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda.

The domestically-focussed midcap index lost 2.0%, with industrials and consumer discretionary stocks coming under the most pressure.

Sportswear retailer JD Sports fell 3.5%, after Britain fined the firm and Footasylum a combined 4.7 million pounds ($6.34 million) for breaching an order that prevented the firms from integrating further.

Airline logistics provider John Menzies dropped 3.5%, after Kuwait-based National Aviation Services said a 469 million pound takeover proposal rejected by John Menzies represented a “full and fair value” for the British airport services group.

($1 = 0.7409 pounds)