UPDATE 2-Asia-focused banks lead FTSE 100 lower as trade tensions flare


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 (There will be no London stock market report on Monday May 25
due to a UK public holiday.)
    * HSBC, StanChart tumble to multi-year lows
    * FTSE 100 set for second straight monthly gain 
    * Both major indexes log strongest week in six 
    * April retail sales crash, May consumer confidence sinks
    * FTSE 100 down 0.4%, FTSE 250 up 0.1%

 (Adds comments, updates to close)
    By Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain
    May 22 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 fell on Friday, dragged
down by Asia-focused lenders after China's proposal to impose
national security laws on Hong Kong compounded trade tensions
between Washington and Beijing. 
    The blue-chip FTSE 100  .FTSE  declined 0.4%, with
Prudential  PRU.L  sliding 9.3% to the bottom of the index while
HSBC  HSBA.L  slipped to its lowest since 2009.
    China's plan also raised fears of more pro-democracy
protests in Asia's financial hub.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D40JE
    "Investors may have been more focused on the continued
unhelpful dialogue between the U.S. and China, hence they chose
to trim some risk exposure," said Ian Williams, economics &
strategy research analyst at Peel Hunt. 
    The domestically focused FTSE 250  .FTMC , nudged 0.1%
higher, boosted by pub operator Marstons  MARS.L  which surged
102.7% after saying it would combine its brewing business with
Carlsberg UK.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D43LN
    Both major indexes logged their strongest week in six, with
the FTSE 100 now up more than 22% from its mid-March lows,
supported by aggressive stimulus measures and hopes of a
recovery from a deep coronavirus-fuelled economic slump.
    Data on Friday showed retail sales fell by the most on
record in April, while British consumer confidence in early May
sunk to its joint-lowest level since the global financial
crisis.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2D411H  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2D31TT 
    "Data releases had little obvious impact on equity markets,
which have been behaving as if April was the low point for
several weeks now," Williams said. 
    Transport operator Go-Ahead Group  GOG.L  slumped 10.6%
after warning the pandemic would hit its profit this year.
    Luxury retailer Burberry Group Plc  BRBY.L  rose 3.3% after
its chief executive said the company was encouraged by a "strong
rebound" in some parts of Asia, having earlier reported a 27%
slump in comparable sales in the final quarter of its year,
which ended with about 60% of its stores closed.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nFWN2D400B
    British Airways-owner IAG  ICAG.L  fell 7% and easyJet Plc
 EZJ.L  was down 3% with the country to introduce a COVID-19
quarantine for travellers arriving from overseas from June 8.

 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal, Devik Jain and Sagarika
Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
 ((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780; +91 961
144 3740; Twitter: https://twitter.com/s_shreyashi;))
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 FTSE 250 index:      .FTMC           FTSE 350 index:     .FTLC  
 Market digest:       .AD.L           Top 10 by vol:      .AV.L  
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