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(Adding background in paragraphs 2-3 and details of FTSE 250 changes)
LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Marks & Spencer, Direct Line and Micro Focus will be relegated from London's FTSE 100 index from Sept. 23 following the latest quarterly review, the index operator FTSE Russell said on Wednesday.
The demotions were widely expected based on the recent closing prices of the stocks that saw them ranked at 111 or lower.
The London Stock Exchange-owned FTSE Russell requires companies to be at least 110 to be part of the blue-chip index.
This is the first time M&S, the 135-year old retailer, has been booted from the FTSE 100 since the index's inception in 1984 and follows a steady decline in its share price amid stiff competition in clothing and food on the UK's shrinking high street.
As expected, precious metals mining firm Polymetal , generic drugmaker Hikma and aerospace and defense group Meggitt will replace them, FTSE Russell said. They have all been in the top 100 index before.
The following stocks will enter or leave the FTSE 250 :
Foresight Solar Fund
Sirius Real Estate
Watches of Switzerland Group
Funding Circle Holdings
Woodford Patient Capital Trust (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Mark Potter)