FTSE 250 hits new one-month low ahead of economic data

FTSE 250 hits new one-month low ahead of economic data

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click

or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* FTSE 100 down 0.5%, FTSE 250 off 0.2%

Aug 23 (Reuters) - UK's midcap index hit a fresh one-month low on Tuesday as a looming gas crisis in Europe exacerbated fears about recession, while investors awaited business activity data to gauge the state of the economy.

The domestically oriented FTSE 250 slipped 0.2% by 0711 GMT, down for a third consecutive session, as soaring UK gas prices added fears of surging inflation that has restrained the economy.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 slid 0.5%, dragged lower by pharma and consumer companies. But oil majors Shell SHEL.L and BP BP.L inched higher, supported by rising crude prices.

Investors will focus on the flash readings of August business activity, due at 0830 GMT, which are expected to show a further slowdown in growth in Britain, compared with July.

BT Group BT.L rose 1.1% after the British government ruled billionaire Patrick Drahi would not be forced to cut his 12.1% stake in the company as it did not pose any national security implications.
Reporting by Johann M Cherian and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri