The U.K. economy grew at a slower pace in the third quarter in the face of rising uncertainty stemming from global economic conditions, preliminary estimates from the Office for National Statistics Office showed Friday. Gross domestic product climbed 0.7 percent from the second quarter, when it grew 0.9 percent.
U.K. retail sales declined more-than-expected in September, driven by a sharp contraction in clothing sales. Retail sales fell 0.3 percent in September from a month ago, when it rose 0.4 percent, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. This was the first drop in four months. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent drop for September. Food sales recovered in September.
European stocks have turned uniformly lower by mid-session on Thursday in a volatile session. Corporate news flow has been mixed, while private sector activity data released by Markit Economics came in better than expected. The major U.S. stock futures are holding up, although they have come off their early highs.
Unilever Plc's shares declined around 4 percent in the morning trading in London after the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant reported Thursday lower sales in its third quarter, mainly reflecting negative currency and weak performance in foods segment and European region. Underlying sales, however, grew 2.1 percent with volume growth of 0.3 percent and pricing growth of 1.8 percent.
Diversified miner Anglo American Plc. (AAUKY.PK, AAL.L) Thursday reported increased production of iron ore for the third quarter, and upped its full-year production forecast for the metal.
Bank of England policymakers decided to leave its key rate at a historic low of 0.50 percent in a split vote for the third straight time at the meeting held early this month as a majority of members noticed increased risks from slowing global economy, especially in euro area. Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale sought a quarter point hike in the bank rate, to 0.75 percent.
British American Tobacco Plc. (BATS.L, BTI) Wednesday said it performed well during the first nine months of the year, but trading environment remains challenging. The company's revenue grew on a currency-neutral basis during the period, even as it dropped on reported basis.
Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc Tuesday reported 7 percent decline in the third-quarter revenue amid tough market conditions. At constant exchange rates, sales increased 2 percent. Looking ahead, the company said it expects to deliver full-year revenue growth at the lower end of its target range.
Chipmaker ARM Holdings Plc. reported Tuesday higher profit in its third quarter, boosted by improved performance in both licensing and royalty segments, despite weak margins. For the fourth quarter, the company expects revenues in dollar terms to be in-line with market estimates.