Friday, Oct 20


U.K. stocks finished lower Thursday, stuck in the red after British retail sales data fell short of expectations, while shares of Unilever PLC dropped by the most in nine months following the consumer products heavyweight’s earnings report. The FTSE 100 index 0.3% to end at 7,523.04, with consumer goods and services shares leading the decline. But oil and gas and basic materials shares were among those that swung higher. The London benchmark on Wednesday rose 0.4%. Unilever shares tumbled 5.5%, the worst loss since Feb. 20, according to FactSet data, after the company behind brands including Ben & Jerry’s and Dove reported revenue growth of 2.6% in the third quarter. Analysts had 
been looking for growth of 3.9%. Sales growth was hurt by poor weather in Europe and natural disasters in the Americas, the consumer products company said. “There’s really no growth in the U.S. business,” Unilever Chief Financial Officer Graeme Pitkethlysaid in an interview. “But the big one-off impact that caused us to miss against consensus this quarter were the hurricanes in Florida and Texas.”