U.K. Stocks Decline Amid Syria Concern; Miners Fall

U.K. stocks fell from a one-week high as commodity producers declined amid political tension between U.S. and Syria, outweighing gains in retailers.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group, the world’s biggest mining companies, each slid more than 1.5 percent. Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS) and Next Plc (NXT) rose more than 1.5 percent as Bank of America Corp. named them its top picks among European retailers. Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) jumped 4.5 percent after reporting first-half profit that beat estimates and raising its dividend.

The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) dropped 45.54 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,446.56 at 8:54 a.m. in London. The gauge has still gained 6.9 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 also retreated 0.7 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index lost 0.9 percent.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday said his government will hold Syria accountable for using chemical weapons against residents of a Damascus suburb. President Barack Obama is facing pressure from U.S. allies and Congress to take military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, after an attack last week that local opposition groups say killed more than 1,300 people.

To contact the reporter on this story: Namitha Jagadeesh in London at njagadeesh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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