National Grid, B&M European drag FTSE 100 lower ahead of services activity data

FILE PHOTO: A man shelters under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 index edged lower on Thursday, dragged by B&M European Value Retail on downbeat earnings outlook and National Grid on ex-dividend trading, while investors awaited services sector activity data due later in the day.

The blue-chip index fell 0.3%, with B&M European Value Retail dipping 4.4% to the bottom of the index, after the discount retailer forecast trading to remain volatile this year and organic growth to likely decline.

Grid operator National Grid slipped 3.9% as it traded ex-dividend.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index declined 0.2%, easing from a record high scaled in the previous session.

After data showed a record increase in manufacturing activity last month, focus now turns towards IHS Markit’s services sector PMI due at 0830 GMT.

Workspace Group dropped 3.2%, after the office-space provider slipped into its first annual loss in 12 years as it suffered from a slump in rental prices and lost around 10% of customers struggling with the fallout of the pandemic.

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