U.K. Stocks Decline From 14-Year High as Ashmore Slumps

U.K. stocks fell from their highest level in 14 years as a gauge of commodity producers declined and companies including Ashmore Group Plc (ASHM) posted disappointing financial results.

Rio Tinto Group dropped 2.7 percent, leading U.K.-listed mining companies lower. Ashmore slumped 7.7 percent after saying investors withdrew $2.9 billion from its funds in the final six months of 2013, and peer Aberdeen Asset Management Plc fell 1.9 percent. GKN Plc (GKN) lost 3.2 percent after saying sales at its land systems unit may not improve this year. Persimmon Plc (PSN) climbed after posting better-than-estimated full-year profit.

The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) retreated 32.32 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,833.54 at 9:09 a.m. in London, halting a seven-day winning streak that brought it to within 1 percent of its December 1999 record. The equity benchmark has gained 5 percent so far this month, on course for its largest monthly advance since July. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also lost 0.5 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index jumped 0.9 percent.

The number of shares changing hands in FTSE 100-listed companies was 8.6 percent greater than the 30-day average at this time of the day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

U.S. data at 10 a.m. in New York will probably show that confidence among consumers fell this month after reaching a five-month high in January. The Conference Board’s index slipped to 80 in February from 80.7 in the previous month, according to the median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

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: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net

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