Glencore Xstrata Plc and Anglo American Plc sank more than 4.4 percent each as a gauge of basic-resources companies in Europe retreated the most since July. Vodafone (VOD) Group Plc slid 3.5 percent after Bank of America Corp. Merrill Lynch removed the mobile-phone company from its recommended stocks list. Aviva Plc (AV/) extended a rally to its highest price since September 2008.
The FTSE 100 lost 75.82 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,712.67 at the close of trading in London. The measure has declined 1.4 percent this week, the most since January. The broader FTSE All-Share Index slid 1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index fell 1.8 percent.
“We might be seeing a continuation of fears over the Ukraine,” Ben Kumar an investment manager who helps manage $7 billion at Seven Investment Management LLP in London, said in a phone interview. Investors may be “starting to realize that it is a bit more serious,” he said.
Russia said Ukraine’s natural-gas debt climbed to almost $2 billion and signaled supplies may be cut. The two countries have clashed over Ukraine’s Crimea region, where a majority of people speak Russian. The standoff over the peninsula prompted Western governments to hit Russian President Vladimir Putin with sanctions.
A U.S. Labor Department report showed that employers in the world’s biggest economy added a more-than-forecast 175,000 jobs in February after a revised 129,000 increase in January. The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent as more people entered the labor force and couldn’t find work.
Glencore Xstrata declined 4.4 percent to 324.85 pence. Anglo American fell 6.6 percent to 1,462.5 pence. Fresnillo Plc retreated 2.2 percent to 927.5 pence. A gauge of basic-resources companies sank 3.5 percent, the biggest drop among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Vodafone lost 3.5 percent to 238.7 pence after Merrill Lynch removed it from its Europe 1 list.
Aviva gained 0.9 percent to 508.5 pence. The U.K.’s second-biggest insurer by market value jumped 8.1 percent yesterday, the most since October 2011, after reporting profit beat analysts’ estimates and its chief executive officer said he will restore bonuses.
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