Unilever shares dragged on the FTSE 100, after the consumer goods giant’s third-quarter sales failed to meet expectations after taking weather-related hits in the US and Europe.
London’s blue-chip index ended the day down 19.83 points at 7,523.04, with Unilever holding the bottom spot down 249.5p at 4,299p.
Michael Hewson, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said the Anglo-Dutch group’s third-quarter figures “were disappointing to say the least. The company did keep its full-year guidance unchanged, but that hasn’t been enough to stop its shares falling sharply.”
In currency markets, the pound was down in reaction to data from the Office for National Statistics showing that September retail sales unexpectedly dropped 0.8 per cent, reversing a surge in August.
Sterling was down 0.25 per cent versus the US dollar at $1.316 and dropped 0.6 per cent against the euro at €1.112.
In UK stocks, BP rose 4.15p to 492.15p amid news that chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg will step down once a replacement is found. He has served in the role since 2010.
The London Stock Exchange’s announcement of its own chief executive Xavier Rolet’s pending departure was followed by a 42p drop in its share price to 3,878p.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 included Smurfit Kappa Group up 78p at 2,240p, Randgold Resources up 130p to 7,490p and Fresnillo up 17p at 1,418p.
The biggest fallers included WPP down 42p at 1,366p, BAE Systems down 15.5p at 600p, and Smiths Group down 36p at 1,537p.