U.K. Stocks Retreat on Chinese Data; Vedanta Paces Losses

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U.K. stocks declined for the third time in four days, led by a selloff in mining companies, as data from China to Japan and the euro area heightened concern about the strength of the global economy.

Anglo American Plc and Lonmin Plc dropped more than 4 percent as a gauge of basic-resources producers tumbled the most in three weeks. Ocado Group Plc sank 4.2 percent after the online retailer’s sales missed analyst estimates. Imperial Tobacco Group Plc rallied the most in four months after raising its revenue forecast.

The FTSE 100 Index lost 33.84 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,854.64 at the close of trading in London. The broader FTSE All-Share Index retreated 0.5 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index increased 1.7 percent.

“Equities are trading lower today as economic data highlighted that recent gains are not a true reflection of the state of the global economy,” said Craig Erlam, a market analyst at Alpari U.K. Ltd. in London.

The FTSE 100 climbed to the highest level since March last week after unprecedented economic stimulus from the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve helped restore investor confidence. The gauge has since fallen 1 percent.

A private survey today showed China’s manufacturing may contract for an 11th month in September, adding to signs that the world’s second-biggest economy is decelerating for a seventh quarter. The purchasing managers’ index stood at 47.8, according to a preliminary reading from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. That compared with a final reading of 47.6 in August. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

China’s Concerns

“Although there was a slight improvement in the data, it certainly isn’t convincing at all,” Stan Shamu, a market strategist at IG, wrote in an e-mailed comments. “Investors would have wanted to see a reading closer to 50 to alleviate some of China’s concerns in the near term.”

Separate reports showed Japan’s exports fell 5.8 percent in August from a year earlier, the third straight decline, while services and manufacturing output in the euro-area slumped to a three-year low in September.

A gauge of U.K.-listed mining companies slid 2.4 percent, the biggest decline since Aug. 30.

Anglo American retreated 4.4 percent to 1,944 pence as copper and lead declined on the London Metal Exchange. Lonmin lost 6.3 percent to 610.5 pence, falling for the first time in six days. Vedanta Resources Plc, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, dropped 2.4 percent to 1,054 pence.

Ocado Drops

Ocado tumbled 4.2 percent to 64.4 pence, extending the stock’s retreat this week to 13 percent. The U.K.’s largest online grocer reported a 9.9 percent increase in third-quarter sales. That was slower than the first half’s 12 percent and missing the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey, which was also 12 percent.

Capital Shopping Centres Group Plc, the U.K.’s biggest shopping-mall owner, slid 4.1 percent to 332.4 pence. The company announced a 300 million-pound ($486 million) sale of convertible bonds to help refinance short-term loans, advance a pipeline of developments and make further acquisitions.

Imperial Tobacco gained 2.7 percent to 2,399 pence, the largest increase since May 1. The cigarette maker forecast a 4 percent increase in full-year net revenue from tobacco ,excluding currency shifts, helped by growth in Eastern Europe. That beat the median analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc rose 1 percent to 734 pence after U.K. media regulator Ofcom ruled the company could keep its broadcast license.

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