(Reuters) – London’s main index tumbled on Thursday as the rising death toll from the coronavirus in China kept investors on edge, while downbeat earnings led to a slide in the shares of heavyweights Shell and BT.
Countries have begun isolating hundreds of citizens evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan to stop the spread of the epidemic, while the World Health Organization may on Thursday reassess its stance on the outbreak.
The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> gave up 0.7% and the FTSE 250 <.FTMC> slid 0.3%, as dealers also eyed a Bank of England policy meeting amid expectations of an imminent interest rate cut.
Oil major Shell <RDSa.L> slid 4% to its lowest since July 2017 after its fourth-quarter profit halved. Telecom firm BT <BT.L> shed 4.6% after a worse-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue.
(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)