Leading UK shares dropped for the second day as HSBC Holdings Plc pulled an index of banks lower after posting reduced earnings, while the US insisted it would impose additional sanctions on Russia for its role in the tensions in Ukraine.
HSBC lost 1.5% after the biggest bank in Europe said its profit for the first three months of 2014 dropped 20%. Barclays Plc declined 1.4% after Citigroup Inc announced the bank may postpone a profitability target by a year.
J Sainsbury Plc slid 3.2% after Kantar Worldpanel said the supermarket operator lost market share in the past 12 weeks. Legal & General Group Plc gained 3% after posting earnings.
The FTSE 100 index reversed 11.16 points or 0.2% down to 6,787.4 as of 2:37 pm in London. The blue-chip gauge has soared for the past three weeks fueled by increased mergers-and-acquisitions activity, Bloomberg said.
The broader FTSE All-Share Index plunged 2%. ISEQ Index of Ireland lost 0.7%.
“Banks played a big role in the U.K.’s decline today, with HSBC and Barclays falling. “It only adds to the persistent fears about the situation in Ukraine, which could bring more volatility to the markets,” said John Plassard of Geneva-based Mirabaud Securities LLP.
US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated late Tuesday America’s intention to slap Russia with further measures if it stands in the way of Ukraine’s presidential elections scheduled for May 25.
Experian took away 5% after reporting its full-year results. The company’s full-year earnings were above expectations, but investors paid more attention to comments from Chief Executive Don Robert, according to Reuters.
He said that the company’s growth in the first half would be hindered by the soccer’s World Cup in Brazil and alterations to its North American consumer venture. The soccer tournament would take away attention from Experian’s consumer services, the CEO added.
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