UPDATE 2-Global trade worries weigh down FTSE 100; pub chain Ei surges on deal

Reuters

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    * FTSE 100 down 0.5%, FTSE 250 down 0.4%
    * Pub chain Ei Group up after buyout offer
    * Investors wary as global trade war risks resurface
    * ASOS sinks after latest profit alert
    * Tobacco stocks up after Philip Morris results 

 (Adds company news items, updates share moves)
    By Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M
    July 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 followed other major
stock markets lower on Thursday as initial batches of corporate
earnings jangled nerves over global growth, while losses for
London's mid-cap index were capped by a buyout of pub operator
Ei Group.
    All but two of the blue-chip index's  .FTSE  sectors ended
in the red as it shed 0.5% - its biggest intraday fall in nearly
two weeks, while the mid-cap FTSE 250  .FTMC  lost 0.4%.
    Among major drags on the main index were oil heavyweights
Shell  RDSa.L  and BP  BP.L , which tracked a slump in crude
prices amid expectation that output would rise in the Gulf of
Mexico following last week's hurricane, as well as miners
 .FTNMX1770 .  O/R 
    Bright spots on the index were tobacco giants British
American Tobacco and Imperial Brands after U.S. peer Philip
Morris  PM.N  reported its sixth consecutive quarter of profit
beat. BAT surged 6.1% on its best day in over a decade while
Imperial Brands added 2.2%.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24J3MV 
    Slug and Lettuce owner Stonegate Pub Company  IPO-SPC.L 
agreed to buy Ei Group  EIGE.L  for 285 pence a share, a 38%
premium to Wednesday's close, which sent the mid-cap pub chain's
stock to its highest in more than a decade.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24J1K3
    The stock surged nearly 39% and helped fellow mid-cap pub
operators Mitchells & Butlers  MAB.L , Greene King  GNK.L , J D
Wetherspoon  JDW.L  and Marston's  MARS.L  rise between 1.3% and
4.2%.
    
    TRADE WAR IMPACT
    Meanwhile, the effects of a protracted China-U.S. trade
dispute on corporate earnings and worries that trade tensions
could further escalate have turned investors across the globe
risk-averse.
    Sentiment weakened as U.S. railroad operator CSX  CSX.O  and
German tech heavyweight SAP  SAPG.DE  flagged an impact from the
trade war and and a report https://on.wsj.com/2XNS9fB that
progress towards a trade deal had stalled weighed on sentiment.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N24J0N2  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N24H1M5
    After a slump in May due to rising worries that Washington's
trade war with China and other partners would escalate, the FTSE
100 has steadied and is on course for its best year since 2016.
    The exporter-heavy index's gains have been fuelled by hopes
of interest rate cuts by central banks and the plummeting value
of the pound due to concerns around the Conservative leadership
election and risks from Brexit.
    AIM-listed ASOS  ASOS.L  tanked 23.2% to its lowest in 4-1/2
years after it blamed operational issues for its third profit
warning in eight months.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N24J1E6
    Its shares also weathered their worst one-day drop since
December, when the online fashion retailer's previous warning
had triggered a global retail sell-off.
    Luxury brand Burberry  BRBY.L , which is on course for its
best week in more than a decade after posting robust sales
growth on Tuesday, gave up 1%.
    Budget airline easyJet  EZJ.L  gained 3.4% on the midcap
index after it stood by its annual profit forecast, reassuring
investors despite softening demand in the industry due to
Brexit-driven consumer uncertainty.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N24J1CU 

 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru
Editing by Patrick Graham and Arun Koyyur)
 ((Shashwat.Awasthi@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S.+1 646 223
3403; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3403; Reuters Messaging:
shashwat.awasthi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
 
(( 
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 FTSE index:          0#.FTS6  
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 Gilt futures:        0#FLG:          Smallcap index:     .FTSC  
 FTSE 250 index:      .FTMC           FTSE 350 index:     .FTLC  
 Market digest:       .AD.L           Top 10 by vol:      .AV.L  
 Top price gainers:   .NG.L           Top % gainers:      .PG.L  
 Top price losers:    .NL.L           Top % losers:       .PL.L  
 
 
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 Company directory:   UKEQ           By sector:           FTAX  
 
 
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