U.K. Stocks Are Little Changed as Ryanair Drags Airlines

U.K. stocks were little changed, as travel companies declined on the FTSE 100 Index (UKX) and U.S. officials voiced support for President Barack Obama’s call to take action against Syria.

Ryanair (RYA) Holdings Plc slumped the most in more than five years in London trading as it said full-year profit may be at the lower end of its forecast. EasyJet (EZJ) Plc lost 5.1 percent and International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) slipped 1.3 percent. Vodafone Group Plc gained 2.2 percent, limiting losses on the benchmark gauge.

The FTSE 100 Index added 6.33 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,474.74 at the close. The gauge reversed a loss of as much as 0.7 percent as Citigroup Inc. recommended investors buy U.K. equities. The gauge fell 3.1 percent in August on concern that the Federal Reserve will start reducing stimulus measures this year, while the U.S. and its allies threatened military action against Syria. The broader FTSE All-Share Index gained 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index fell 1.6 percent.

“Does it make sense to take action in Syria and risk making it a bigger regional issue? I would think not,” said Tim Rees, who helps oversee 255 billion pounds ($399 billion) at Insight Investment Management Ltd in London. “You look at U.K. and European economic data and you’d assume companies to be participating more in the uptick.”

In the U.S., Majority leader Eric Cantor joined Speaker of the House John Boehner in saying he will support Obama’s call for the use of military force against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The Senate’s foreign relations panel will vote today on a resolution that sets a 90-day limit on military action against Syria.

Ryanair Tumbles

Ryanair slumped 11 percent to 6.03 euros. Europe’s biggest discount carrier said that full-year net income may be at the lower end of its 570 million euros ($753 million) to 600 million euros range. If yields, a measure of fares, continue to weaken, profit may fall short of that target, the carrier said.

EasyJet lost 5.1 percent to 1,215 pence and British Airways parent IAG slid 1.3 percent to 291 pence. A measure of travel and leisure companies listed on the broader FTSE 350 Index fell 0.9 percent.

U.K. homebuilders slipped, with Persimmon Plc (PSN) declining 2.7 percent to 1,111 pence, and Taylor Wimpey Plc losing 2.5 percent to 100.5 pence. Barratt Developments Plc dropped 4.9 percent to 299.5 pence as a measure of U.K. housing-linked stocks dropped to its lowest level since April.

Vodafone, the second-heaviest stock on the FTSE 100, added 2.2 percent to 207 pence, as it rebounded from yesterday’s biggest decline in more than 11 weeks.

BG Group Plc (BG/) rose 1.9 percent to 1,271 pence, its highest price in 10 months as a gauge of European oil and gas stocks posted the third-biggest advance of 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600.

The volume of shares traded in FTSE 100-listed companies today was 7.9 percent higher than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sofia Horta e Costa in London at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net

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

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.