U.K. Stocks Decline for Third Day Before Fed, Scotland

U.K. stocks fell for a third day as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s monetary-policy decision and tomorrow’s vote on Scottish independence.

DS Smith Plc rose 5.1 percent after saying corrugated-box sales are increasing at a faster pace than last year. Daily Mail and General Trust Plc dropped 6.7 percent after saying that a delay in the release of its risk-management solutions product will result in an impairment. Smiths Group Plc slipped 6 percent after reporting a decline in full-year revenue.

The FTSE 100 Index fell 11.34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,780.9 at the close of trading in London, after earlier rising as much as 0.4 percent. It was the only national index among 18 western-European markets to drop. The broader FTSE All-Share Index slid 0.2 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index added 0.3 percent.

The Federal Reserve will update investors on monetary policy at 2 p.m. in Washington and Chair Janet Yellen holds a press conference 30 minutes later. The central bank will probably reduce monthly bond purchases by $10 billion, to $15 billion, keeping it on track to announce an end to the program in October.

The Fed is assessing the strength of the world’s largest economy as it winds down bond buying and considers raising interest rates. Investors speculate that the central bank will maintain its pledge to keep its benchmark rate low for a considerable time after it completes the monthly bond purchases.

Investors will also be watching the final day of campaigning over Scotland’s future in the U.K. before a vote on independence tomorrow. Three polls last night showed the anti-independence group leading the Yes campaign by 52 percent to 48 percent, excluding undecided voters.

Minutes from the Bank of England’s Sept. 3-4 meeting showed policy makers split for a second month, with the majority citing increased risks from Europe and muted inflation pressures as supporting the case for keeping the key rate at a record low.

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