U.K. stocks declined for a second day before reports that may show British retail sales and U.S. jobless claims climbed last month.
AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) headed for its largest two-day drop in more than seven weeks as Morgan Stanley recommended investors sell the shares. Antofagasta Plc (ANTO) lost 1.3 percent as JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded its rating on the copper producer. Ophir Energy Plc (OPHR) slumped 7.3 percent after saying exploration costs contributed to a loss for the first half of this year.
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) dropped 0.4 percent to 6,559.6 at 8:32 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark has still gained 8.8 percent since its low on June 24 as the Bank of England gave forward guidance on interest rates for the first time. The broader FTSE All-Share Index slipped 0.5 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index lost 0.4 percent.
The number of shares trading hands in FTSE 100-listed companies was 13 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
A report at 9:30 a.m. will probably show U.K. retail sales including automobiles increased 0.7 percent in July, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales rose 0.2 percent in June.
In the U.S., a Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. Jobless claims in the week ended Aug. 10 advanced to 335,000, from 333,000 a week earlier, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Separately, a Federal Reserve release at 9:15 a.m. New York time may show that output from U.S. factories, mines and utilities climbed 0.3 percent in July, economists predicted. That would match the pace for the prior month.
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