* FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 both down 0.3%
* Financials and dollar earners drag on main index
* Kier slumps after report of plan to sell housebuilding unit
* Recruiter SThree gains on strong international hiring
* Housebuilders hit by no-deal Brexit worries
(Adds company news, closing prices)
By Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M
June 14 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 weakened on Friday as
Asia-focused banks took a hit from underwhelming Chinese industrial
growth data, while Kier shed more than a third of its value after it
was reported to be planning to sell its housebuilding unit at a discount.
The FTSE 100 slipped by 0.3%, with exporter stocks also
weighing on the index. The FTSE 250 fell by the same amount, tugged
lower by Kier's 35.5% plunge.
Banks with exposure to Asia, pressured this week amid protests in
Hong Kong against a Chinese extradition bill, slipped after China's
industrial output growth slowed to a more than 17-year low.
HSBC and Prudential were among the biggest drags on the
blue-chip index as the data again underlined the knock-on effects of
China's protracted trade dispute with the United States.
Builder Kier , shares in which lost more than a third of their
value last week after a profit warning, sank to a record low after a
Times report said the company was preparing to sell its housebuilding
business at a discount to cut debt.
Kier's market value, which stood at 212.1 million pounds ($267.4
million) at the close, has shrunk to less than a half of what it was
at the end of May.
"Trader are petrified that Kier will turn into an Interserve
or even a Carillion, and any sign of weakness spooks investors,"
said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
The housebuilding sector slipped 1.2% on its worst day in a
month as fears of a chaotic no-deal Brexit had jumped after Brexiteer
Boris Johnson moved closer to becoming the next prime minister.
A no-deal departure from the European Union has become more likelu
over the past month, according to economists in a Reuters poll, with
most candidates in line to replace Theresa May as prime minister
taking a hard-line stance.
Gold, generally viewed as a safer asset in times of geopolitical
and economic turmoil, was in demand as worries over a slowdown in
global economic growth dominated, helping miner Fresnillo to a 3.4%
Oil major Shell was another bright spot on the main index as
crude prices rose for a second day after attacks on two oil tankers in
the Gulf of Oman stoked worries about crude flows through a key
international shipping route.
Utilities, considered to be defensive stocks, were also among the
Small-cap recruiter SThree , which hires workers for financial,
energy, banking and pharmaceutical companies, gained 3% as its net
fees rose on strength in its international markets. ($1 = 0.7933 pounds)
(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M in Bengaluru, additional
reporting by Sangameswaran S Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and
David Goodman )
((Shashwat.Awasthi@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S.+1 646 223 3403;
outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3403; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))
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