U.K. stocks declined for a third day as the benchmark FTSE 100 Index (UKX) posted its biggest weekly loss in 13 months.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) slipped 7.2 percent for the worst performance on the FTSE 100. Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS) paced a decline among retailers. BT Group Plc (BT/A) climbed 1 percent after Citigroup Inc. raised its recommendation on the shares.
The FTSE 100 Index fell 43.34 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,116.17 at the close in London, reversing an earlier gain of as much as 1.4 percent. The gauge fell 3.1 percent this week as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said on June 19 the bank may end monthly bond purchases next year if the U.S. economy improved in line with forecasts. The FTSE All-Share Index lost 0.7 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index added 0.2 percent.
“The latter part of today’s session suggests that the selling isn’t done yet,” Chris Beauchamp, a market analyst at IG in London, wrote in a note. “Markets in both the U.K. and U.S. initially opened in positive territory. However, the fall back into the red is a sign that the negative feelings from Wednesday’s Fed meeting haven’t dispersed just yet.”
The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the FTSE 100 was 72 percent higher than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
China’s benchmark money-market rates tumbled from record highs in Shanghai, according to a daily fixing compiled by National Interbank Funding Center. The drop of 4.42 percentage points, to 8.43 percent was the biggest drop since October 2007.
The People’s Bank of China added funds to the financial system via short-term liquidity operations yesterday, according to Hao Hong, chief China strategist at Bank of Communications Co. in Hong Kong.
RBS fell 7.2 percent to 281.7 pence. The state-controlled lender has tumbled 13 percent for the biggest three-day drop in almost a year since U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the Treasury will “urgently” investigate the case for breaking up RBS and spinning off its toxic assets into a “bad bank.”
Marks & Spencer Group Plc declined 2.7 percent to 418.2 pence after Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated an underperform rating on the shares, saying the retailer faces increased competition.
A gauge of retailers on the FTSE 350 Index fell 1 percent. J Sainsbury Plc slid 1.9 percent to 358 pence and Kingfisher Plc dropped 1.4 percent to 332.5 pence.
BT added 1 percent to 307.4 pence as Citigroup upgraded the shares to buy from neutral, citing increased cost savings and potential for faster dividend growth from its sports channels. Thirteen percent of U.K. households are prepared to change their broadband supplier or pay more to receive BT Sport channels, the brokerage said, citing its survey of 1,365 homes.
ITV climbed 0.9 percent to 137.4 pence after Citigroup raised its 12-month price estimate to 175 pence from 150 pence and reiterated a buy rating.
Al Noor Hospitals Group Inc. closed at 575 pence on its first day of trading in London, the same price the Abu Dhabi-based provider of health-care services sold 38.5 million shares to raise 221 million pounds ($341 million).
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