U.K. Stocks Erase Gains as Sainsbury, Morrison Drop; BT Slides

U.K. stocks erased an earlier advance to decline as a rally in mining companies failed to offset a slump in grocers.

J Sainsbury Plc and William Morrison Supermarkets Plc fell more than 1.5 percent after Business Secretary Vince Cable put measures to Parliament that would see supermarket chains face fines of as much as 1 percent of their U.K. sales if they treat their suppliers badly.

BT Group Plc fell 2.2 percent after reporting third-quarter earnings that were in line with analysts’ estimates. The U.K.’s largest landline carrier was up 6.7 percent this month through yesterday’s close.

Anglo American Plc and BHP Billiton Plc climbed more than 1 percent, tracking a European index of mining stocks higher.

The FTSE 100 Index fell 38.25 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,772.35 at 9:29 a.m. in London, after earlier climbing as much as 0.5 percent. The benchmark gauge reached a four-month high on Jan. 26. The broader FTSE All-Share Index fell 0.4 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index advanced 0.4 percent.

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