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Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. stocks fell, extending this week’s first slump in six weeks, as a disagreement on boosting the International Monetary Fund’s resources to fight Europe’s debt crisis overshadowed a drop in the U.S. jobless rate.
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Plc slid 3.2 percent after saying the euro area’s debt crisis has made clients more cautious. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA retreated 6.8 percent as third-quarter profit declined.
The benchmark FTSE 100 Index lost 18.48, or 0.3 percent, to 5,527.16 at the close of trading in London, as more than two stocks fell for every one that rose. The gauge retreated 3.1 percent this week. The FTSE All-Share Index dropped 0.3 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index sank 0.4 percent.
There’s a “lack of any concrete detail with respect to additional IMF funding,” said Michael Hewson, a markets analyst at CMC Markets in London. “The Greece situation continues to remain uncertain with tonight’s vote of confidence likely to result in the stepping down of Greek Prime Minister Papandreou, which would almost certainly be followed by some form of national-unity government.”
The FTSE 100 has fallen 6.3 percent this year as Europe’s debt crisis intensified. The U.K. remains the best performing equity market in western Europe this year, except for Iceland. The gauge had rallied for five weeks spurred by better-than- estimated earnings and economic data and growing confidence that the euro area would help Greece avoid default.
IMF Funding Disagreement
G-20 leaders meeting in the French resort of Cannes failed to agree on IMF resources, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters today. Governments are awaiting further details of the euro area’s week-old rescue package before they commit cash, Merkel said.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a confidence vote in parliament tonight that will determine whether he stays on or calls an election. Papandreou yesterday abandoned his planned referendum on the country’s bailout after the plebiscite drew a warning from Merkel that a no vote would cost Greece its membership of the euro.
In the U.S., a report showed that the unemployment rate fell to a six-month low of 9 percent in October from 9.1 percent in September. Employers added 80,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, fewer than economists had forecast. The Labor Department revised up jobs gains in the previous two months by 102,000.
Millennium & Copthorne retreated 3.2 percent to 419.3 pence after Chairman Kwek Leng Beng said that the euro area’s sovereign-debt crisis has made the hotel group’s business customers more cautious.
IAG, formed from the January merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia, declined 6.8 percent to 156.9 pence. The posted third-quarter profit that fell 31 percent from a year earlier.
Lancashire Holdings Ltd. rose 4.2 percent to 740 pence after the insurer said market conditions seem to be improving.
--With assistance from Julie Cruz in Frankfurt. Editors: Will Hadfield, Andrew Rummer
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