U.K. Stocks Decline Fourth Day as LSE Drops on Stake Sale

U.K. stocks retreated, with the FTSE 100 Index posting its worst four-day slump since January, as London Stock Exchange Group Plc slid and banks extended losses.

LSE fell the most since April after Qatar sold a stake. Barclays Plc led a gauge of British banks to its lowest level since November 2012. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA and EasyJet Plc followed their European peers lower. Burberry Group Plc rose 3.2 percent as first-quarter sales beat analyst estimates. Ashmore Group Plc added 5.6 percent after saying net inflows helped boost assets under management in the fourth quarter.

The FTSE 100 lost 45.67 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,672.37 at the close of trading in London, extending its decline this week to 2.8 percent. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also slid 0.7 percent today, and Ireland’s ISEQ Index fell 0.6 percent.

A measure of implied volatility on the FTSE 100 jumped 6.7 percent to 12.74. It dropped to its lowest level since June 2005 on July 3 and has advanced 3.9 percent this year. The volume of shares changing hands in FTSE 100-listed companies was 35 percent higher than the 30-day average for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent and its asset-purchase target at 375 billion pounds ($642 billion) today, as predicted by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

LSE slipped 3.1 percent to 1,896 pence. Qatar Holding LLC cut its stake in the exchange operator to 10.3 percent from more than 15 percent in May. Qatar sold the shares at 1,915 pence each, according to LSE.

Banks Drop

Barclays, Britain’s second-largest bank, slipped 1.7 percent to 208 pence. HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest lender, dropped 1.3 percent to 589 pence.

IAG, the parent of British Airways, fell 2.4 percent to 331.7 pence, and EasyJet dropped 1.2 percent to 1,272 pence. A gauge of travel and leisure companies on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index has fallen 4.1 percent since Air France-KLM Group cut its profit forecast on July 8.

Burberry rose 3.2 percent to 1,464 pence. The luxury retailer, known for its trenchcoats, said retail revenue rose 9 percent to 370 million pounds in the three months through June. Analysts had predicted 354 million pounds.

Ashmore, a fund manager focusing on emerging markets, rose 5.6 percent to 374.4 pence. Net inflows were $1.6 billion in the three months that ended June 30, helping push assets under management up 7 percent to $75 billion, according to a statement.

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