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02 Aug 2019 | 08:53

UK stocks drop 1.7% after fresh Trump tariff threats

UK stocks sank 1.7% at the open on Friday after Donald Trump threatened to slap more tariffs on Chinese imports.

At 0848, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 129.76 points at 7.455.11.

Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 4.7%, despite more than doubling its first-half profit and declaring a special dividend.

The bank also warned that it was 'very unlikely' to achieve its 2020 financial year targets of a return on tangible equity of more than 12% and a cost-to-income ratio of less than 50%.

It blamed current market conditions and economic uncertainty for the warning.

Telecom giant BT, meanwhile, dropped 2.3% as it reported a fall in profits and cash flow that hardened investor fears of a potential reduction in its dividend.

British Airways owner IAG was having a better morning, rising 3.4% after it reported a higher-than-expected 18% jump in first-half earnings.

Hungarian low-cost rival Wizz Air gained 0.3% after it posted a 12% rise in passenger numbers during the month of July, as it added new routes to and from London Luton, Moldova and Poland.

Iron ore trader and miner Ferrexpo fell 3.1%, even as it reported a 78% rise in its annual profit and doubled its interim dividend, owing to higher iron ore prices.

Pet goods retailer and veterinary chain Pets at Home added 2.2% on guiding for its annual profit to be slightly above current market expectations, after its revenue grew by almost 10% in the first quarter.

Wine retailer Majestic Wine fell 1.6% as it agreed to sell its retail and commercial units for £100m to concentrate on its Naked Wines online business.

Goals Soccer Centres said it would cancel its listing on the London Stock Exchange after a probe into historic accounting practices uncovered evidence of 'improper behaviour'. The company's shares are currently suspended from trading.

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