UK stocks : FTSE 100 falls 0.3 percent
So-called cyclical stocks led losses after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there had been little progress among lawmakers in negotiations to avoid a 'fiscal cliff' of spending cuts and tax hikes that could tip the world's largest economy into recession.
Reid's comments weighed on U.S. shares late on Tuesday, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index, widely regarded as a global benchmark for equities, recording its worst day in eight sessions as it fell 0.5 percent to finish at 1,398.94.
Reid's comments came after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development downgraded its global growth outlook. That weighed on basic materials stocks, which are dependent on global growth, and gave impetus to profit-taking on gains made following the successful conclusion on Monday of talks among Greece's international lenders.
If you look at the worst performing sector this morning, it is the basic materials sector, and that's off the back of these lower growth expectations globally, said James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts.
At 1130 GMT, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 15.11 points, or 0.3 percent at 5,784.60 points, with two big cyclical sectors - financials and materials - combining to take 11 points off the index.
Consumer staples also suffered, despite their usual status as a safe play during economic uncertainty, taking 3.7 points off British blue-chips.
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