GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) was the biggest drag on the benchmark measure after an executive said some employees may have broken the law in China. Bumi (BUMI) Plc tumbled 8.6 percent after the coal producer at the center of an ownership dispute ended a three-month halt in London trading. Fresnillo Plc and Randgold Resources Ltd. each added at least 3 percent as gold and silver rallied for a third day.
The FTSE 100 Index dropped 7.5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,623.17 in London, as two shares fell for every one that rose. The gauge advanced 1.3 percent last week as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank remains flexible on when to reduce its asset purchases. The FTSE All-Share Index slid less than 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index added less than 0.1 percent.
“There’s some hesitation before we get a wealth of data this week,” Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital in London, said by telephone. “The miners are being supported by a tick up in gold prices.” He said, “We’re paying more attention to what’s happening on the corporate front.”
The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the FTSE 100 was 31 percent less than the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
Fourteen companies listed on the FTSE 100 companies will report earnings this week. The list includes ARM Holdings Plc and GlaxoSmithKline on July 24, Unilever on July 25 and British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc on July 26.
Equities in Asia climbed as election results in Japan showed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito won at least 74 of 121 upper-house seats that were contested in the weekend vote. The results strengthen Abe’s ability to carry out his policy of monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and deregulation.
Sales of previously owned houses in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in June, according to data released today. Purchases fell 1.2 percent to a 5.08 million annualized rate, the National Association of Realtors reported in Washington. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 5.26 million pace.
GlaxoSmithKline lost 1.2 percent to 1,694 pence. Abbas Hussain, the company’s head of emerging markets, said after meeting Chinese officials that some employees may have broken laws in that country. China’s Public Security Ministry last week accused Glaxo officials of economic crimes involving 3 billion yuan ($489 million) and detained four senior executives.
Bumi tumbled 8.6 percent to 237 pence as the shares traded for the first time since April. The company has been at the heart of a battle for control between Nathaniel Rothschild, scion of a British banking family, and the Bakries. Bumi agreed this month to sell its 29.2 percent stake in PT Bumi Resources to the Bakries as part of a separation plan. Trading in the shares had been halted after Bumi said it won’t meet a deadline to publish financial results.
Fresnillo added 3.4 percent to 1,064 pence. Randgold rose 5.6 percent to 4,777 pence. Gold advanced 2.7 percent and silver gained 4.8 percent, to their highest prices since June 20. Rangold is well-positioned amid a drop in gold prices, according to reports by Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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