U.K. Stocks Are Little Changed as Anglo American Retreats

U.K. stocks were little changed, after yesterday dropping the most in three weeks, as commodity producers dropped, offsetting gains by media companies.

Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto Group each slid more than 3 percent after Morgan Stanley lowered its price forecast for iron ore. ITV Plc gained 1.6 percent following a report that Omnicom Group Inc. will transfer its media spending from Channel 5 to the U.K.’s largest terrestrial broadcaster.

The FTSE 100 Index added 4.24 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,843.11 at the close of trading in London. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also gained 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index was little changed.

“There are no catalysts to move markets in any particular direction at the moment,” said John Plassard, vice president at Mirabaud Securities LLP in Geneva. “Macro-economic data don’t inspire investors, who are likely to wait and see what the Fed will do at its next meeting.”

The volume of shares changing hands in FTSE 100-listed companies was 17 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In the U.S., a Commerce Department report in Washington showed that retail sales climbed at a slower-than-expected pace in May. Sales rose 0.3 percent, less than the 0.6 percent increase forecast by economists. The government revised growth for April to 0.5 percent from 0.1 percent.

U.S. Economy

A separate release from the Labor Department showed first-time applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to 317,000 in the week ended June 7 from a revised 313,000 in the previous period. Economists had expected a drop to 310,000.

A gauge of U.K. mining shares retreated 1.9 percent to the lowest level since March. Anglo American declined 3.2 percent to 1,418 pence after Morgan Stanley downgraded the company to underweight, the equivalent of sell, from equal weight. The brokerage lowered its forecast for iron-ore prices and said the commodity producer may not meet its target for earnings before interest and taxes.

Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton Ltd. slid 3.1 percent to 3,058 pence and 1.3 percent to 1,868 pence, respectively.

Lonmin Plc rallied 8.9 percent to 257.7 pence after earlier dropping as much as 4.6 percent. Lonmin and two other platinum producers reached an agreement with a trade union that may end a 20-week strike in South Africa over pay. The miners have demanded that Lonmin, Anglo American and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. more than double their basic wages to 12,500 rand ($1,168) a month by 2017.

ITV increased 1.6 percent to 179.4 pence. Omnicom has halted all media spending with Channel 5 until the end of this year and moved advertisements to ITV, according to a BrandRepublic online report.

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