U.K. Stocks Fall as FTSE 100 Index Heads for Monthly Drop
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and BP Plc (BP/) slipped as oil declined after Prime Minister David Cameron failed to win parliamentary approval for military strikes against Syria. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) and EasyJet Plc (EZJ) lost at least 1.7 percent. Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc (BPTY) plunged the most in more than two years after predicting sales will fall.
The benchmark FTSE 100 retreated 20.9 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,462.15 at 10:31 a.m. in London, heading for a fourth weekly drop. The gauge has decreased 2.4 percent this month as investors weighed the prospects of reduced monetary stimulus in the U.S. and an attack on Syria. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also slid 0.3 percent, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index sank 0.6 percent.
“People are sitting on cash in anticipation of things happening” next month, Frances Hudson, an Edinburgh-based strategist at Standard Life Investments Ltd., which oversees about $278 billion, said in a phone interview today. “Seasonally, risk markets tend to be weaker at this time of the year. Investors have been watching and waiting.”
The Federal Reserve holds a policy meeting on Sept. 17-18 to decide whether to slow the pace of its bond-purchase program. Germany holds elections on Sept. 22, while a committee in Italy on Sept. 9 will hear a case to decide whether the Senate should expel ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from his seat.
Data in the U.S. today may show business activity in the world’s biggest economy expanded in August. The MNI Chicago Report’s business barometer increased to 53 from 52.3 in July, economists predicted in a Bloomberg survey. Personal spending climbed 0.3 percent last month, a report from the Commerce Department may show.
Shell and BP, Europe’s biggest oil companies, retreated 0.9 percent to 2,096.5 pence and 0.9 percent to 446.65 pence, respectively. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped as much as 1.9 percent to $106.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Cameron became the first U.K. prime minister in more than a century to lose a motion on military action when the House of Commons last night rejected his plan for the use of force in Syria. The vote leaves U.S. President Barack Obama with reduced international support as he considers an attack.
IAG, the owner of British Airways, lost 1.7 percent to 287.5 pence. EasyJet, Europe’s second-largest discount carrier, retreated 2.8 percent to 1,224 pence.
Bwin.Party plunged 13 percent to 110.5 pence, the biggest slide since April 2011, as the online gambling company forecast annual revenue will decline.
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