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* FTSE 100 down 1.2%, FTSE 250 down 0.8%
* Antofagasta drags main index after H1 profit fall
* IHG among handful of gainers on report of merger
Aug 20 (Reuters) - UK shares tracked Asian markets lower on Thursday, as worries mounted over a prolonged economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s cautious tone on recovery.
The FTSE 100 index was 1.2% lower by 0707 GMT, with the midcap bourse falling 0.8%.
Minutes of the Fed’s July 28-29 policy meeting showed policymakers saw a rebound in employment already slowing and that additional “substantial improvement” would depend on the reopening of business activity.
They warned of a highly uncertain path for recovery from the global health crisis that has hammered business activity across the world.
On corporate news-driven moves, miner Antofagasta fell 5% after posting a plunge in half-year earnings, while InterContinental Hotels gained 2.5% after a newspaper report that French rival Accor had examined a merger with it. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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