Most U.K. Stocks Drop as U.S. Employment Figures Trail Forecast

Most U.K. stocks declined, paring the first weekly advance for the FTSE 100 Index in four weeks, after a report showed an unexpected increase in U.S. unemployment.

Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Plc led bank stocks lower while Old Mutual Plc paced a retreat among insurers.

The benchmark FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent to 5,754.79 at 3:23 p.m. in London as three stocks declined for every two that gained. The slide trimmed this week’s increase to 1.5 percent. The FTSE All-Share Index lost 0.2 percent today while Ireland’s ISEQ Index slid 0.6 percent.

Stocks erased an earlier advance after payrolls in the world’s largest economy rose 39,000 last month, less than the most pessimistic projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The jobless rate increased to 9.8 percent, the highest since April.

“The U.S. labor market continues to struggle,” said Joshua Raymond, a market strategist at City Index in London. “The data will inevitably re-raise concerns over the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.”

The FTSE 100 had rallied 4.3 percent over the past two days, the biggest two-session increase since May, as the European Central Bank extended its emergency loan and bond- buying program and U.S. manufacturing and home sales data boosted confidence in the economy.

Standard Chartered declined 1.6 percent to 1,835 pence today as a gauge of bank stocks retreated for the first time in three days. Barclays lost 2.1 percent to 269.1 pence.

Old Mutual, Aviva

Old mutual, the U.K.’s third-largest insurer by market value, dropped 2 percent to 120.7 pence, snapping two days of gains. Aviva Plc lost 1.4 percent to 379.8 pence and Legal & General Group Plc slipped 1 percent to 98.85 pence.

Fresnillo Plc paced advancing shares as silver for immediate delivery jumped as much as 1.3 percent to $28.9075 an ounce, after yesterday touching $29.36, the highest level since Nov. 9. The stock climbed 3.7 percent to 1,563 pence.

Johnson Matthey Plc, which generates the majority of its revenue from precious metals, climbed 3.2 percent to 1,926 pence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at

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