Pearson slides in FTSE 100 downturn

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(Close): London's leading shares lost ground on Friday, led downwards by publisher Pearson.

The firm, which owns the Financial Times, fell 2.6% after revealing a 6% drop in sales in the first nine months of 2014.

Telecoms group BT was another loser, shedding 1.8% following a broker downgrade.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day down 30.42 points, or 0.5%, at 6,388.73.

Troubled supermarket chain Tesco, which was the biggest faller on the index on Thursday, shed a further 1.3%.

On Thursday, the firm announced chairman Sir Richard Broadbent would leave after the firm revealed a bigger-than-forecast hole in profits.

On the upside, pharmaceuticals firm Shire gained 4% after raising its full-year profit forecast.

On the currency markets, the pound was up half a cent against the dollar at $1.6089, and up two-tenths of a cent against the euro, at €1.2697.