* FTSE 100 down 0.5%, FTSE 250 up 0.1%
* Multinationals biggest drag on main index
* Berkeley leads housebuilders higher
* TUI, Burberry also weigh down bluechips
* Ted Baker slides among smallcaps (Adds company news items, updates share moves)
By Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M
Jan 22 (Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 recorded its longest losing streak since early December as a strengthening in sterling triggered by strong manufacturing sentiment data weighed on dollar earners, while travel group TUI slid on more Boeing woes.
The main index reversed earlier gains to decline 0.5% on its third consecutive day in the red.
Homebuilder Berkeley limited losses on the index, jumping 5.4% to a record high after plans to return 450 million pounds more to shareholders. An index of housebuilders scaled over a two-year high on the news.
The FTSE 250 added 0.1%, buoyed by a stronger local currency.
The pound scaling a five-week high against the euro came as bets of a cut to the UK interest rate declined after the Confederation of British Industry reported a pick-up in manufacturers’ sentiment.
That dragged on bluechip exporters including GlaxoSmithKline , HSBC and British American Tobacco.
A standout faller was TUI, whose London-listed shares slipped nearly 6% to their lowest since September after Boeing warned of further delay in returning its grounded 737 MAX airliner to service.
The FTSE 100 missed out as world shares held firm after Chinese authorities ramped up efforts to control the outbreak of the coronavirus, which is being likened to the 2002-2003 spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and has already led to nine deaths.
Sage Group outperformed the bourse with a 4% rise as the software provider reported higher quarterly revenue and affirmed its annual forecast.
But Burberry slid 5% despite a solid performance through the Christmas quarter.
“The reminder of how closely the company’s fortunes are tied to China may have provoked some nervousness given the deadly virus which is currently afflicting the country,” AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said.
He also suggested that there could be a hint of profit-taking, given the recent rally in shares.
Further driving the index lower was a dip in Shell and BP as oil prices weakened, and miner Antofagasta which fell 4.6% after its copper production was hit by civil unrest in Chile.
Small-cap fashion retailer Ted Baker sank as much as 10% after it more than doubled its preliminary estimate of an overstatement in inventory.
A combination of multiple profit warnings, subdued consumer sentiment and a slew of management changes after allegations of misconduct against founder Ray Kelvin had knocked more than 70% off the stock’s value last year. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Angus MacSwan)