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FTSE 100 Declines As GDP Suffers Biggest Fall In 40 Years

U.K. stocks fell on Tuesday after GDP numbers for the first quarter came in far gloomier than expected.

Gross domestic product fell 2.2 percent sequentially instead of 2 percent decrease estimated initially. The latest drop was the joint largest contraction since the third quarter of 1979.

On a yearly basis, GDP was down 1.7 percent in the first quarter, revised down from 1.6 percent estimated in May.

The data captures the first direct effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the government measures taken to reduce transmission of the virus.

Meanwhile, investors await a speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where he will spell out plans to help the post-lockdown economic recovery in the U.K.

The benchmark FTSE 100 dropped 42 points, or 0.68 percent, to 6,184 after climbing 1.1 percent on Monday.

Royal Dutch Shell lost 2.8 percent. The oil and gas company expects post-tax impairment charges to be in the range of $15 billion to $22 billion in the second quarter, after revising its outlook for commodity prices and margin outlook amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Electronics manufacturer Filtronic tumbled 3 percent. The company said there is considerable uncertainty in the markets in which it operates.

InterContinental Hotels Group declined 1.2 percent. The company confirmed around 10 percent of its hotels worldwide are now closed.

Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty rose about 1 percent after bagging a Hong Kong contract worth around £577m.

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