U.K. Stocks Drop as U.S. Jobs Data Trails Forecasts; BSkyB Sinks
U.K. stocks fell the most in two weeks after a report showed U.S. employers added fewer jobs than forecast last month, increasing concern about the strength of the world’s largest economy.
British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) plunged the most in almost three years as the U.K. government said it will take “some time” to consider responses submitted on News Corp.’s proposed takeover. Trinity Mirror Plc (TNI) climbed 4.2 percent after News Corp.’s market-leading rival to its Sunday title, the News of the World, announced it will close following allegations that its journalists tapped the voice mails of murder victims.
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) lost 1.1 percent to 5,990.58 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London, leaving the benchmark gauge almost unchanged for the week. The measure has still rallied 5.1 percent since June 24 as Greece’s parliament approved a package of austerity measures, easing concern that the nation will default on its debt.
“It’s going to be hard to gauge how this directly affects the U.K., but in market terms it’s not good for sentiment when the biggest number of the month is so wildly far off expectations,” said Will Hedden, a trader at IG Index in London, referring to the U.S. jobs data.
U.S. employers added 18,000 workers to payrolls last month after a 54,000 increase in May, according to a Labor Department report. That trailed the median prediction of an increase of 105,000 jobs from economists in a Bloomberg survey. The release also said the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, the highest level this year.
U.K. Producer Prices
In the U.K., a report showed producer prices rose in June at the slowest pace since September as costs for petroleum products declined for a second month. The cost of goods at factory gates rose 0.1 percent from May, the Office for National Statistics said. That matched the median forecast of 20 economists in a Bloomberg survey.
BSkyB fell 7.6 percent to 750 pence, the biggest drop since October 2008, as a week-long consultation on additional conditions imposed by the government on the proposed takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. ended today. The consultation received 156,000 comments amid public outcry over the actions of journalists at the News of the World.
“Given the volume of responses, we anticipate that this will take some time,” the Departure for Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement today, without specifying a timeframe. “The secretary of state has always been clear that he will take as long as is needed to reach a decision.”
Trinity Mirror Gains
Trinity Mirror, which produces the Sunday Mirror, climbed 4.2 percent to 50 pence. News Corp. said it will close the News of the World, the 168-year-old Sunday tabloid, after allegations that its journalists tapped the voicemails of murder victims and their families and paid police officers for stories.
Mining companies fell after the U.S. jobs report as copper declined in London trading. Antofagasta slid 4.5 percent to 1,424 pence, Anglo American Plc (AAL) dipped 1.7 percent to 3,128 pence and BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) slid 2.7 percent to 2,454 pence. The FTSE 350 Mining Index (F3MNG) fell 2.2 percent, the biggest decline in two weeks.
Banking stocks fell amid renewed concern that the European debt crisis may spread as the European Banking Association said it will release results of a second round of bank stress tests on July 15.
Electric-parts distributor Premier Farnell Plc (PFL) recovered 3.5 percent to 201.8 pence after plummeting 20 percent yesterday as sales growth missed estimates.
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