BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - U.K. stocks fell on Tuesday and the pound strengthened against its major peers after official data showed the U.K. jobless rate declined in the fourth quarter.
The ILO unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter from 3.9 percent in the prior period, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The rate was also below economists' forecast of 4.0 percent.
In three months to December, average earnings including bonus rose 5.8 percent annually, slower than the 6.7 percent rise in November. Earnings growth was expected to ease more sharply to 5.6 percent.
The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 11 points, or 0.2 percent, at 7,562 after finishing marginally higher on Monday.
Travel operator TUI Group rose 2.6 percent after it reported a narrower loss for the first quarter, amidst an increase in revenue on higher demand at improved prices and rates. In addition, the company has reaffirmed its full-year guidance.
Cairn Homes fell about 1 percent. The Irish homebuilding company announced that it has appointed Richard Ball as its chief financial officer, effective April 10.
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