FTSE 100 Slips Into Red As Retail Sales Data Disappoints
BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - U.K. shares inched lower in choppy trade on Friday, although stocks remained on track for a weekly gain.
Underlying sentiment turned cautious after official data showed U.K. retail sales fell unexpectedly in January for the third month running amid an uptick in inflation.
Retail sales including automotive fuel dropped 0.3 percent month-on-month, confounding expectations for an increase of 1 percent.
The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 17 points or 0.24 percent at 7,260 in late opening deals, but remained on track for a 0.1 percent weekly gain.
Banks were declining, with Lloyds Banking, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland losing 1-2 percent, after U.S. bond yields eased overnight in the wake of dovish comments from influential Fed policy maker William Dudley.
Investors were also digesting U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks on Thursday that he had inherited a mess at home and abroad.
A slide in iron ore prices weighed on the mining sector, with Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto declining 1-2 percent.
AstraZeneca shares rallied 1.5 percent after the drugmaker reported positive results from its Phase III OLYMPIAD trial of its breast cancer treatment Lynparza (olaparib).
Shares of Coca-Cola HBC rose 2 percent to extend Thursday's rally after the bottling firm said it expects slightly better economic conditions to support volume growth in 2017.
Real estate investment trust Segro jumped more than 3 percent after its full-year EPS beat forecasts.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX