Most U.K. Stocks Drop; Aberdeen Falls on Fund WithdrawalsAnna Hirtenstein
Most U.K. stocks dropped, with Aberdeen Asset Management Plc leading losses on the FTSE 100 Index, as a report showed pending house sales in the U.S. unexpectedly declined last month.
Aberdeen fell 5.3 percent after a single client withdrew 4 billion pounds ($6.8 billion) from the firm’s equity funds. Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc climbed 2.7 percent after committing itself to spin off its pharmaceutical division in the next 12 months. Ryanair Holdings Plc gained 2.7 percent after Europe’s largest low-cost airline increased its profit forecast for the current financial year.
The FTSE 100 slipped 3.48 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,788.07 at the close in London after earlier rising as much as 0.3 percent and falling as much as 0.4 percent. Four stocks dropped for every three that climbed. The benchmark added 0.6 percent last week as investor concern about the crisis in Ukraine eased. The FTSE All-Share Index also retreated 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index added 0.2 percent.
Some 27 FTSE 100 companies, including BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Barclays Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc publish their financial results this week.
Aberdeen lost 5.3 percent to 435 pence after the withdrawal from the firm’s global and Asia Pacific funds. The company also reported that total assets under management dropped 0.6 percent to 322.5 billion pounds in the three months through June, falling short of some estimates. The stock has declined 13 percent this year.
In the U.S., a National Association of Realtors report showed that pending sales of houses and flats fell 1.1 percent in June. Economists had predicted sales would climb 0.5 percent, according to a Bloomberg survey. They rose a revised 6 percent in May.
Reckitt Benckiser climbed 2.7 percent to 5,205 pence. The consumer-health company said in a statement that it will list its pharmaceutical business in the U.K. following the spinoff. The maker of Durex condoms also reported that sales for the rest of its businesses grew 4 percent in the second quarter, matching analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Ryanair rose 2.7 percent to 7.03 euros. Europe’s biggest low-cost airline forecast profit of 620 million euros ($833 million) to 650 million euros for the year through March 2015. It had predicted earnings of 580 million euros to 620 million euros. Ryanair also posted quarterly profit and revenue that beat estimates.