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FTSE retreats after data, IMF and global economic gloom

* FTSE 100 slips 0.2 percent in second day of losses

* Economic growth concerns weigh ahead of earnings season

* UBS suggests put strategies to protect gains

By Toni Vorobyova

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Britain's benchmark share index eased for a second session on Tuesday, with a batch of gloomy economic data underscoring downside risks from the impending third quarter corporate earnings season.

UK factory output shrank more than expected in August, and exports fell steeply versus the previous month, data showed, pointing to deterioration both in the domestic and the global economy.

The International Monetary Fund forecast that the UK economy would contract 0.4 percent this year versus growth of 0.2 percent expected in July, and combining this with a more downbeat view on global growth.

"We've had headlines reminding us that the risk to growth is there," said Jack Pollard, analyst at Sucden Financial.

"It's quite a cautious start."

The FTSE 100 was down 14.23 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,827.51 points by 1033 GMT , adding to a 0.5 percent drop the previous session and performing broadly in line with other European indexes.

Sectors more exposed to swings in economic growth, such as retailers and household goods were among the weakest performers.

Miners , however, bucked the generally weaker trend thanks to heavyweight Rio Tinto , which reassured investors with a forecast of solid copper output growth in coming years and greater pricing transparency.

However, the update from the world's second-largest iron ore miner added a note of caution, saying it was uncertain when the stimulus measures unveiled by U.S., European and Chinese central banks would translate into more buoyant global demand.

Third quarter results from U.S. aluminium giant Alcoa , which traditionally kick off the U.S. and UK reporting seasons, will offer more clues on metals demand after the close.

In the UK, third quarter earnings are seen down on average 7.5 percent year-on-year, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine, with energy, materials and financials set to perform the worst.

The latter have been hit hard by troubles in the euro zone thanks to their high exposure to the region's sovereign debt.

Concerns about the euro zone remained in the spotlight on Tuesday, with bond yields edging higher as Spain continued to drag its feet over a formal bailout request needed to kick-start the European Central Bank plan to ease the crisis through sovereign bond purchases.

With the FTSE 100 up 11 percent since the start of June, the risks around the euro zone, economic growth and earnings could make further gains this year tough to achieve.

"There's a lot of good news regarding policy response and liquidity in the price already but uncertainty remains ahead of the U.S. presidential election and the ongoing crisis in Europe," said James Ferguson, strategist at Westhouse Securities. The FTSE 100 could struggle to get through the psychologically key 6,000 mark, he said.

Investors wishing to protect their profits could do so via options, taking advantage of relatively cheap pricing, with the UBS derivatives team recommending a put-spread structure.

Buying a December 2012 put - which gives the right to sell at the strike price - for 5,700 points and selling a 5,400 put costs an indicative 1.06 percent, UBS said.

(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Louise Ireland)

((antonina.vorobyova@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 9828)(Reuters Messaging: antonina.vorobyova@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: MARKETS BRITAIN STOCKS/MIDDAY