U.K. stocks slid for a third day as investors waited to see whether Greece’s politicians will form a government of parties that reject the terms of the country’s European Union-led bailout.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc led losses, each sliding at least 3.5 percent. ITV Plc advanced 2.2 percent as the second-biggest listed British broadcaster predicted its revenue from advertising will beat the average of its peers in the first half.
The benchmark FTSE 100 Index retreated 0.4 percent to 5,530.05 at the close in London, paring a drop of as much as 1.6 percent in the final hour of trading. The gauge has declined 0.8 percent this year. The FTSE All-Share Index slid 0.5 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index fell less than 0.1 percent.
“Stocks are squeezed by the Greek impasse as no one seems to be able to form a government, which may bring about a new election in a few weeks,” said Jakup Petur Baerentsen, chief equity adviser at Nordea Private Bank in Copenhagen. “The absence of real news makes earnings reports the driver in today’s market.”
The FTSE 100 dropped 0.8 percent yesterday to erase this year’s gains after Antonis Samaras, the leader of Greece’s biggest political party, failed to reach an agreement on a new government and the mandate passed to Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the left-wing Syriza coalition, which came second.
Tsipras, who opposes the austerity measures required for the nation’s financial rescue, demanded that Samaras and the leader of the third-placed Pasok party renounce their support for the EU-led bailout of Greece.
RBS, Lloyds Fall
U.K. stocks pared losses in the final hour of trading as German Chancellor Angel Merkel was reported as saying that she wants to keep Greece in the euro area.
RBS and Lloyds slid 3.5 percent to 22.63 pence and 3.8 percent to 29.91 pence, respectively. A gauge of European lenders dropped the most of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index as Spanish 10-year government bonds fell, pushing the yield on the securities above 6 percent for the first time since April 27.
SABMiller Plc, the world’s second-largest brewer, declined 0.6 percent to 2,484.5 pence after Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S reported a higher share of the market in Russia, where it competes with SABMiller.
BP, Shell Retreat
BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s two biggest oil producers, declined 1.5 percent to 404 pence and 0.6 percent to 2,047 pence for the biggest contributions to the FTSE 100’s slide. Oil fell for a sixth day for its longest losing streak in almost two years.
Sage Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest software maker, sank 5.5 percent to 263 pence, its lowest price since November, after first-half sales and pretax profit missed analysts’ estimates.
ITV rose 2.2 percent to 82.5 pence after Chief Executive Officer Adam Crozier said “we expect to outperform the TV ad market in the first half and for the year as a whole.”
The volume of shares changing hands on the FTSE 100 was 14 percent higher than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.