U.K. Stocks Fall as Shell, AstraZeneca Post Profit Drop

U.K. stocks fell from their highest level since May, trimming a monthly gain, as Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and AstraZeneca Plc reported declines in quarterly profit.

Shell fell 4.6 percent, contributing the most to a decline in the benchmark FTSE 100 Index. (UKX) AstraZeneca lost 2.5 percent as third-quarter earnings and sales missed analysts’ estimates. Croda International Plc (CRDA) tumbled 6.6 percent after forecasting that profit will stagnate in the fourth quarter. BG Group Plc (BG/) rose 1 percent after earnings surpassed analysts’ predictions.

The FTSE 100 Index slid 25.27 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,752.43 at 9:02 a.m. in London. The gauge has still gained 4.5 percent this month as U.S. lawmakers ended a 16-day government shutdown and agreed to extend the borrowing authority until early 2014. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also lost 0.4 percent, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index retreated 0.3 percent.

The Federal Reserve announced late yesterday that it would maintain its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases until “the outlook for the labor market has improved substantially.” Still, the Fed committee dropped its warning from last month’s meeting that “tightening” financial conditions could impair the economic recovery.

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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