* FTSE 100, FTSE 250 up 0.2%
* Banks top boost to main index
* Lufthansa's profit alert hurts airlines
* Kier at record low after dividend suspended
* Huatai's GDRs rise on London market debut
(Adds details, updates to closing prices)
By Muvija M and Yadarisa Shabong
June 17 (Reuters) - London's main index inched up on Monday as
rises in banking shares outweighed the impact of a profit alert from
Germany's Lufthansa on airlines, while UK contractor Kier Group
skidded to an all-time low.
Both the FTSE 100 index and the FTSE 250 midcap index ended
With the spotlight on Wednesday's U.S. Federal Reserve policy
decision, the banking index broke a four-day losing streak with a
0.9% rise, led by Asia-exposed banks including HSBC and Prudential
after Hong Kong's leader backed down over an extradition bill that has
sparked mass protests.
"It's hard to recall a time we headed into an FOMC meeting
with so much at stake and with so much uncertainty about what might be
agreed," Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said.
"Traders may start to show some nervousness ahead of the Fed
meeting if they think it won't be accommodative as hoped."
The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged but
potentially lay the groundwork for a cut later this year as a
prolonged trade war with China puts more strain on the U.S. economy.
The Bank of England also meets this week, with little expected but
all eyes on central bank policymaking globally after two weeks in
which hopes of policy easing have driven a stock market recovery from
losses in May.
EasyJet and British Airways owner IAG gave up 4.4% and 2.2%,
respectively, on the main bourse after Lufthansa cut its 2019
profit outlook due to competition from low-cost rivals in Europe.
Mid-cap component Wizz Air also dipped 2.6%.
Kier , whose shares have plunged this month due to a report of a
discounted sale of its unit and a profit warning, lost another 17.4%,
reaching a new all-time low, after the builder suspended dividend, and
announced divestment plans and 1,200 job cuts.
"The profit warning from Friday is still fresh in traders’
minds, and even though today's restructuring scheme is a clear sign
the firm is taking action, it still hasn't reassured investors,"
CMC Markets analyst David Madden said.
DS Smith slipped 5.1% on its worst day in over four months
after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to
"underperform" on worries about the plastic packaging firm's
capital spending and exceptional costs.
Energy provider Centrica also tumbled to more than a decade
low, ending 2.4% lower after Macquarie initiated coverage with an
Huatai Securities' GDR ended 3.7% higher on its first day of
trading in what is Britain's first listing via the long-awaited
London-Shanghai stock connect project.
Huatai, among China's largest brokerages, had earlier risen as
much as 7.1% to $21.96 on the day.
(Reporting by Muvija M and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; editing by
Patrick Graham and Ed Osmond)
((Muvija.M@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside
U.S. +91 80 6749 3638; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))
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