Barclays, Taylor Wimpey earnings hit London stocks as pandemic bites

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain

Bleak quarterly showings by Barclays, Smith+Nephew and Taylor Wimpey weighed on the FTSE 100 on Wednesday, with investors now awaiting more stimulus from the U.S. Congress and the Federal Reserve to shore up a battered global economy.

Kicking off the quarterly earnings season for UK banks, Barclays set aside a higher-than-expected 1.6 billion pounds to cover a possible rise in loan losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its shares fell 1.2% in early trading.

Medical products maker Smith+Nephew (SN.L) tumbled 3.7% as it posted a lower-than-expected first-half profit, while homebuilder Taylor Wimpey Plc (TW.L) shed 5.0% on saying it expected to complete around 40% fewer homes in 2020.

But a 9.3% jump for Next Plc (NXT.L) helped limit the declines on the blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE, which was trading flat at 0716 GMT. Next reported a smaller-than-feared decline in second-quarter sales.

Lloyd’s of London insurer Lancashire (LRE.L) fell 5.7% to the bottom of the FTSE 250 after posting a loss for the first half of the year. The mid-cap index .FTMC was off 0.2%.

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