- On a rough day for markets, UK stocks ended Thursday drastically lower as a sharp escalation in US China tensions worried investors.

Beijing vowed retaliation against looming US tariffs, which it called a violation of accords reached by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

Also spooking investors were warnings from bond markets that a global recession could be imminent.

Such issues led the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index to close 1.13%, or 80.87 points, down at 7,067.01.

Several stocks were also lower as they traded without the rights to their dividend, including Royal Bank of Scotland down 10.6% at 177p.

Litigation finance provider Burford Capital rose 12% to 870p after it announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer (CFO).

The firm said investors raised concerns over the fact that Burford chief executive Christopher Bogart and current CFO Elizabeth O'Connell are married.

Gambling group GVC upgraded its outlook on profits as strong performance of its online business was expected to offset any potential costs associated with the new sports-betting licences in Germany. However, the shares closed 0.5% lower at 544p.

Paving specialist Marshalls said it was confident of 'at least' meeting expectations after first-half profits climbed 14% thanks to an uptick in sales to the public sector and commercial end market. The stock were last seen down 0.4% to 612.5p.

KAZ Minerals profits fell in the first half of the year on lower revenues as the price of copper was hurt by weaker demand. The shares plunged 16% to 415p.

Transport operator FirstGroup said it had appointed David Martin as chairman with immediate effect. It shares rose 5.9% to 121.4p.

Martin, the former chief executive of Arriva, began his career in the transport industry in 1986. He was appointed to the board of Arriva in 1998 with specific responsibility for international development, before taking over the leadership of the company in 2006.

Murray International Trust said its performance in the first half of the year fell short of its benchmark amid rising geopolitical uncertainty and trade tensions.

For the six months to 30 June 2019, net asset value total return increased by 10.6%, below the total return of 15.5% for the company's benchmark (40% FTSE World UK and 60% FTSE World ex UK). However, the shares were marked 0.36% higher at £11.18.

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