U.K. stocks were little changed, after the benchmark FTSE 100 Index (UKX) rose to an almost four-week high yesterday, as U.S. President Barack Obama put off military action against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.
ARM Holdings Plc (ARM), which designs chips for Apple Inc.’s iPhones, jumped the most in seven weeks after the U.S. company said its new model will use ARM’s more advanced technology. African Minerals Ltd. slumped 8.6 percent after cutting its export forecast for this year because of shipping delays. African Barrick Gold Plc (ABG) posted its biggest two-day decline in eight months after saying its chief operating officer resigned.
The FTSE 100 lost 10.82 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,573.17 at 8:53 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark has fallen 3.9 percent since May 22, which was its highest level since 1999, amid speculation that the Federal Reserve will begin reducing its monthly asset purchases as early as this year. The broader FTSE All-Share Index slid 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index also retreated 0.1 percent.
The number of shares trading hands in FTSE 100-listed stocks was 31 percent greater than the average of the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
In the U.S., Obama postponed a decision on military strikes in Syria and said that he will pursue a proposal by Russia to have the Middle Eastern nation surrender its stockpiles of chemical weapons to international authorities. He had previously said he would ask Congress to authorize the use of military force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments,” Obama said yesterday in an address from Washington. The initiative “has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies.”
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