- FTSE 100 flat, FTSE 250 off 0.5%
Nov 25 (Reuters) - The FTSE 100 was flat on Friday, with gains in defensive healthcare and consumer stocks offsetting weakness in retail stocks as Black Friday sales began against a backdrop of a worsening cost-of-living crisis.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 was flat by 0851 GMT, but set to end with sharp weekly gains on hopes of smaller rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Diageo, British American Tobacco and GSK supported the FTSE 100, as investors snapped up defensive stocks that tend to perform well in a slowing economy.
REITS and homebuilders fell the most in morning trade, down over 2% each. Berenberg does not expect the trough in UK homebuilders' earnings to occur until 2024, the brokerage said in a note on Friday, reiterating its cautious view on the sector.
Retail stocks dropped 0.4% on Black Friday, which typically marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
The domestically focused FTSE 250 midcaps slid 0.5%.
Among individual stocks, Devro jumped 60.4% after Saria Group agreed to acquire the food processing company in a deal valued at about 540 million pounds.
SSE inched up 0.5% after the power generator said it would sell a 25% stake in its power transmission network business.
Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza