U.K. Stocks Decline for Second Day; Aggreko, BP Retreat

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U.K. stocks declined for a second day as Japan’s exports tumbled and U.S. companies reported sales that trailed forecasts.

Aggreko Plc slid 3 percent after HSBC Holdings Plc cut its rating on the stock. Fresnillo Plc and Randgold Resources Ltd. led basic-resources shares higher. African Barrick Gold Plc gained 1 percent after obtaining regulatory approval in Kenya for purchasing exploration assets in that country.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent to 5,882.91 at the close in London. The equity benchmark has still rallied 12 percent from this year’s low on June 1 as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to do everything to protect the euro. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also retreated 0.2 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index lost less than 0.1 percent.

Japan’s exports slid 10.3 percent in September from a year earlier, leaving a trade deficit of 558.6 billion yen ($7 billion), a government report showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of analysts called for a 9.9 percent export decline. The drop was the most since May 2011, two months after a magnitude-9 quake struck Japan’s northeast, triggering a tsunami and a nuclear disaster.

Of the six companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to report results today, four had revenue that missed analysts’ estimates, including Caterpillar Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Fifty-nine percent of companies in the gauge have missed third-quarter revenue projections since Oct. 9, the data show.

Spanish Elections

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy extended his majority in the stronghold region of Galicia as voters offered some respite to his 10-month-old government and removed one obstacle to a European bailout. His party won 41 of the 75 seats in the regional assembly, allowing it to extend its majority in the northwestern region.

“Rajoy’s mixed outcome at regional elections raises hopes that the government there doesn’t quite face the challenging and difficult opposition by the public that we expected,” Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital in London, wrote. “That said, there remains plenty of uncertainty surrounding Spain.”

Aggreko, the world’s largest supplier of mobile power supplies, slid 3 percent to 2,073 pence. HSBC cut the stock to underweight, a rating similar to sell, from neutral.

BP Plc lost 1.5 percent to 443.45 pence after earlier rising as much as 2 percent. OAO Rosneft agreed to buy BP’s half of TNK-BP, Russia’s third-largest oil producer, for about $26 billion in cash and shares. BP will sell its 50 percent stake for $17.1 billion in cash and 12.8 percent of Rosneft’s shares, according to a statement today.

Devro, Spectris

Devro Plc, the sausage-casing maker whose stock has quadrupled since 2009, tumbled 3.5 percent to 324.1 pence after saying full-year operating profit will miss its forecast because of rising material costs and currency moves.

Spectris Plc, a maker of products for the electronic control sector, lost 3.9 percent to 1,709 pence. Panmure Gordon & Co. cut the stock to hold from buy.

Fidessa Group Plc, a software company, retreated 2.3 percent to 1,341 pence. The company said 2012 revenue will be unchanged and said customers are becoming more “cost-constrained.”

Commodity Shares

A gauge of London-listed metal companies gained 0.2 percent, rising for the fourth time in five days.

Fresnillo, a silver and gold miner, climbed 1.3 percent to 1,916 pence. Randgold, a miner of gold, rose 2.7 percent to 7,615 pence, the most since Sept. 14, as the precious metal rebounded from a six-week low.

African Barrick Gold Plc advanced 1 percent to 482 pence. The company said the Kenyan Competition Commission approved its acquisition of Aviva Mining (Kenya) Ltd. from Aviva Corp. All conditions for the transactions have now been met and the acquisition will be completed, the company said.

Thomas Cook Group Plc, the U.K. tour operator, jumped 9 percent to 21.25 pence, the highest price in almost five months. Exane BNP Paribas analyst Matthias Desmarais raised his recommendation on the stock to neutral from underperform.

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