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FTSE 100 Retreats As Pound Surges After Upbeat Data

U.K. stocks fell notably on Thursday as weaker-than-expected data from China weighed on the mining sector and the pound spiked higher after the release of upbeat retail sales data.

U.K. retail sales growth accelerated more than expected in May, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed.

Retail sales volume including auto fuel, grew 1.3 percent month-on-month, following April's 1.8 percent increase. This was the second consecutive rise in sales and much bigger than the expected 0.5 percent.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 48 points or 0.61 percent at 7,656 in late opening deals after closing little changed on Wednesday.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore fell around 2 percent each.

Rolls Royce Holdings shares advanced 2.7 percent on a Bloomberg report that the jet engine manufacturer plans to eliminate about 4,000 jobs as part of efforts to simplify its business and boost profit margins.

Pay-TV company Sky Plc gained 0.6 percent after winning the broadcast rights to Italy's top soccer.

Drugmaker GSK rose half a percent after its two-drug treatment for HIV met its main goal in late stage studies.

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