U.K. Stocks Little Changed as BP Falls, Premier Oil Gains

U.K. stocks were little changed, after four days of declines, as ARM Holdings retreated and Premier Oil Plc. surged.

ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) slipped 5.8 percent after the semiconductor designer reported slower growth in royalty revenue. Premier Oil jumped the most since September 2011 after its chief executive officer resigned.

The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) dropped 1.17 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 6,464.49 at 3:48 p.m. in London. The gauge has fallen 5.4 percent since Jan. 20, as weaker-than-forecast Chinese data increased concern that growth in developing nations reliant on the world’s second-biggest economy will falter, and Argentina’s decision to allow the peso to devalue triggered a rout in emerging-market currencies. The broader FTSE All-Share Index rose less than 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index added 0.2 percent.

“The risks have increased in the last couple of weeks,” Daniel McCormack, a strategist at Macquarie Securities Ltd. in London, said in an interview. “If the currency volatility continues, global growth will suffer. It is both the fact that you have growth risks appearing and that earnings are failing to come through. The longer it goes with no improving earnings, the more nervous the market is going to get.”

U.S. factory orders contracted 1.5 percent in December, according to data released today in New York. The median economist estimate in a Bloomberg survey had called for a 1.8 percent decline.

ARM Drops

ARM lost 5.8 percent to 876.5 pence, paring earlier losses of as much as 10 percent. The company, whose products power Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, said royalty revenue rose 7 percent to $146.4 million, compared with a 13 percent gain in the third quarter and a 19 percent increase a year earlier.

Ocado Group Plc (OCDO) retreated 2.5 percent to 510.5 pence after posting a full-year pretax loss excluding exceptional items of 5.1 million pounds ($8.3 million) and saying co-founder Jason Gissing will retire from the board in May.

Electrocomponents Plc (ECM) fell 4.6 percent to 253.1 pence, its biggest drop since May. The distributor of electronics and maintenance products said U.K. sales fell about 2 percent in the four months ending in January, while bad weather in December and January hurt sales growth in North America.

Premier Oil jumped 10 percent to 294.8 pence. Simon Lockett said today he will step down as CEO. Deutsche Bank AG said the move follows investor discontent with the company’s performance.

Associated British Foods Plc (ABF) added 2.9 percent to 2,765 pence. Morgan Stanley raised its price estimate for the shares to 3,570 pence from 2,410 pence, saying investors undervalue its Primark division. The clothing retailer may have a market capitalization of about 30 billion pounds as a standalone unit, the bank estimated.

To contact the reporter on this story: Trista Kelley in London at tkelley2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net

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