UPDATE 1-FTSE 100 dips as focus shifts to weak China data

* FTSE 100 down 0.1%, FTSE 250 flat

* Both indexes shed early gains

* Miners, oil companies biggest drags

* Insurer Admiral up after profit beat

* Balfour Beatty on course for best day in 16-1/2 years (Adds company news items, updates share price)

Aug 14 (Reuters) - London's blue-chip index gave up early gains to turn lower on Wednesday, as dull Chinese data rekindled fears of a slowing global economy which were briefly kept in check after Washington decided to delay tariffs on some Chinese goods.

The FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1% and the FTSE 250 midcap was flat by 0751 GMT.

The Trump administration's move to delay 10% tariffs on Chinese goods lifted spirits, making up for some of the FTSE 100's rough start to the month following the Hong Kong protests and persistent trade worries.

"While some of the more consumer sensitive tariffs have been delayed until Dec. 15, and some dropped completely, the ante is still higher than it was before President Trump announced the tariffs increases, at the beginning of the month," CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

The relief from the tariff delay proved to be short-lived, as China reported a slew of weak data for July, including a surprise drop in industrial output growth, which fell to a more than 17-year low, a clear sign that the trade war with the world's biggest economy was affecting the economy's health.

UK-listed mining giants were the quickest to react to weakness in China, the world's top metals consumer. Copper prices also took a hit from the resumption of copper exports from some of Peru's top mines following weeks of suspension.

Oil majors Shell and BP also weakened along with crude prices, while Standard Chartered dipped 1.4% after BofA Merrill removed the bank from its Europe top picks list.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 index is on course for its worst month since last October after back-to-back monthly gains, as no-deal Brexit fears strained the pound after Boris Johnson became the country's prime minister.

Helping contain losses in FTSE 100 was Admiral, which rose 4% rise after the insurer posted a bigger-than-expected rise in earnings, driven by more customers in its UK business.

On the midcap index, Balfour Beatty surged 12.1%, its biggest one-day rise in 16-1/2 years, after the infrastructure company reported a rise in underlying profit and raised its annual cash forecast boosted by higher margin projects.

Cybersecurity firm Avast jumped 8.4% after it said revenue growth would be at the upper end of its target, driven by demand for products such as "AntiTrack" that help secure users privacy.

Sports Direct lost 5.2% after the retailer said its auditor Grant Thornton had quit, a move that left the company struggling to find a replacement. (Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

08/14/2019 8:34

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