UK markets closed

FTSE 100 retreats after strongest two-day surge ever

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* FTSE 100 down 2.6%, FTSE 250 slides 1.5%

March 26 (Reuters) - London stock markets fell on Thursday after staging a robust recovery in the past two days as investors feared the incoming economic data will cement their worries of a sharp economic slump as the coronavirus crisis hits the entire world.

After posting the biggest two-day percentage gain since the blue-chip index was launched in 1984, it dropped 2.6% as heavyweights such as British American Tobacco, Ferguson and Prudential traded without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out.

Data showed British retail sales failed to grow at all in February, even before shops shuttered due to the lockdown. All eyes will turn to the U.S. jobless claims report, which many fear will be one of the worst in history.

Among other stocks, aerospace engineer Senior Plc gained 8.7% as it took cost-cutting actions to save cash to deal with the expected impact of the coronavirus crisis, but suspended its 2020 outlook, scrapped dividend.

Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone fell 2% after it warned of not meeting its profit and debt outlook due to the pandemic. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)