UK stocks : FTSE 100 index down 0.3 pct

Stocks

Britain's top share index fell on Thursday, as mixed earnings reports combined with concerns about the euro zone's economy and debt troubless to weigh on sentiment.

Tate & Lyle and Land Securities were among fallers in heavy volumes after releasing disappointing earnings updates. Land Securities had gained 25 percent year to date, with Tate & Lyle adding 9 percent in October.

These are stocks that were untouchable, they were absolutely rock solid and they were smashing through indicators to go short. Finally with a sell-off starting yesterday, it was these stocks which seemed to drop quite sharpish, Ed Woolfitt, Head of Trading at Galvan, said.

It would have been longer-term runners and well-performing companies that finally buckled, and if institutions took the profits out then that would cause the swing. I think it began as profit taking, then profit taking turned to fear.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 15.58 points, or 0.3 percent, at 5,776.05, reversing earlier gains and pulled down by cyclical stocks sensitive to risk sentiment, such as energy, banks and mining.

Concerns over the state of the euro zone resurfaced after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi described the outlook as a picture of weaker economies, and traders cited fears that 31.5 billion euros of aid for Greece, frozen since June, may be delayed further.

Tate & Lyle fell 0.5 percent as the sweeteners and starches maker reported only a slight rise in first-half earnings, reflecting the cost of re-opening a factory and tough trading in Europe.

Volume in Tate & Lyle was heavy at more than double its 90-day daily average.

Land Securities fell 2 percent after lacklustre first-half results, with net asset value per share up 0.1 percent.

Food retailer WM Morrison, Britain's No. 4 grocer, was down 1.5 percent after a weak sales update.

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