By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Shares of Unilever PLC led U.K. stocks lower on Tuesday after warning of slower sales in the third quarter, while mining firms slipped after Chinese manufacturing data missed expectations.
The FTSE 100 index dropped 0.2% to 6,449.76, on track for the lowest close in a month.
Shares of consumer-products company Unilever (UL) posted the biggest loss in the index, off 3.8%, after the firm late Monday downgraded its sales-growth expectations for the third quarter due to a slowdown in emerging markets.
Peer firm Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC erased 2.4%.
Mining firms also added pressure on the London benchmark after the official monthly manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for the country missed analyst expectations. The gauge rose to 51.1 in September from 51 in August, below an estimate compiled by Dow Jones Newswires of 51.6.
Shares of Anglo American PLC lost 1%, Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) fell 0.8% and BHP Billiton PLC (BHP) dropped 0.6%. Metals prices were mixed, with gold and silver on the rise, but copper, platinum and palladium heading south.
Oil prices were also lower, weighing on the U.K. oil firms. Shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) gave up 0.9%, BG Group PLC shed 0.5% and Tullow Oil PLC lost 0.4%.
On a more upbeat note in London, shares of heating- and plumbing-products supplier Wolseley PLC (WOSYY) picked up 1.7% after the firm said it will return 300 million pounds ($487.1 million) to shareholders in a special dividend after reporting a rise in full-year profit and revenue.
-Sara Sjolin; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
10-01-13 0635ETCopyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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