Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc declined 2.1 percent after Investec Plc recommended that investors sell the shares. Aviva Plc (AV/) dropped 1.1 percent as Exane BNP Paribas lowered its rating on the insurer. Precious-metals producers Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) and Fresnillo Plc (FRES) gained at least 4 percent as gold and silver climbed after European equity markets closed yesterday.
The FTSE 100 dropped 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,473.34 at 9:32 a.m. in London, extending this week’s decline to 1.7 percent. It has still rallied 7.4 percent from a 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 0.1 percent while Ireland’s ISEQ Index sank 0.9 percent today.
In the U.S., a Commerce Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show housing starts climbed in July to a 900,000 annualized rate, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. They rose at an 836,000 pace in June, the slowest since August 2012. Building permits, which signal construction activity, rose to a 945,000 rate from 918,000 in June, estimates from a separate survey showed.
A separate release will probably show a gauge of consumer sentiment in the world’s largest economy rose to a six-year high in August. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index climbed to 85.2 from 85.1 in July, according to economists’ estimates.
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