U.K. stocks rallied, sending the benchmark FTSE 100 Index (UKX) to its highest level in two months, after a report said that U.S. companies added more than twice as many jobs last month as economists had expected.
Man Group Plc (EMG) surged 3.6 percent, after saying that investors added $3.7 billion in net funds to the company’s hedge funds in the three months through June. Rio Tinto Group, Kazakhmys Plc (KAZ) and Anglo American Plc (AAL) all rose more than 2 percent. Hammerson Plc (HMSO) slumped 4.8 percent as a unit of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan sold its entire 12 percent stake in the company.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent to 6,054.55 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London. The gauge yesterday ended an eight-day rally, its longest winning streak since July 2009, as Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Portugal’s credit rating to junk. The FTSE All-Share Index advanced 0.8 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index increased 0.3 percent.
“If the U.S. continues to create jobs at the rate it was earlier in the year then I would regard that as positive news,” said David Miller, partner at Cheviot Asset Management Ltd. in London. The health of U.S. consumers and businesses “is highly influential and important for all major economies.”
U.K. stocks extended their gains after a report from ADP Employer Services said that U.S. companies added 157,000 jobs in June, more than double the 70,000 average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The data comes a day before the U.S. Labor Department’s monthly payrolls and unemployment releases.
Stocks rallied further after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said that policy makers have waived the minimum collateral rules for Portuguese government debt in refinancing operations.
ECB Interest Rate
The euro area’s central bank also increased its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.5 percent. The Bank of England held its key rate at a record low of 0.5 percent.
In the U.K., a measure of the country’s manufacturing output increased 1.8 percent in May. That beat the average economist estimate in a Bloomberg News survey for an increase of 1 percent.
Man Group rallied 3.6 percent to 255.7 pence as the world’s biggest hedge fund manager said assets under management rose 2.8 percent in the three months through June. Man’s assets in its fiscal first quarter increased to $71 billion from $69.1 billion at the end of March, the London-based company said.
Mining stocks were among the best performing industries in the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index, rallying 1.8 percent. Copper prices hit an 11-week high in London today.
Kazakhmys advanced 3.1 percent to 1,405 pence, while Rio Tinto, the world’s second-biggest miner, gained 2.3 percent to 4,595 pence and Anglo American increased 2.1 percent to 3,181 pence.
Hammerson Shares Slump
Hammerson sank 4.8 percent to 463.7 pence as its biggest shareholder sold its holding in the U.K.’s third-largest real- estate investment trust.
Cadillac Fairview, a unit of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, sold its 85.6 million shares in Hammerson at 463 pence apiece, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a statement today.
Shares in GKN Plc rose to a 3 1/2 year high, soaring 3.2 percent to 245 pence amid speculation Credit Suisse Group AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. included the company on lists of possible takeover targets.
British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) fell 1.8 percent to 812 pence as investors speculated that a probe into phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid may delay government approval for parent company News Corp.’s takeover of the U.K.’s largest listed broadcaster. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bid 700 pence a share for the 61 percent of BSkyB it doesn’t own. After the close, News Corp. announced it will close the newspaper.
Premier Farnell Plc (PFL), the electronics distributor, tumbled 20 percent to 195 pence, for the largest decline on the FTSE 250 Index. (MCX) Premier Farnell posted year-on-year sales growth for May and June of 1.4 percent, less than the 6 to 8 percent pace that the company had predicted.
“This performance reflects a marked moderation of growth rates in all global markets during June,” Premier Farnell said in a statement.
Capital Shopping Centres Group Plc (CSCG) slipped 3 percent to 385.6 pence, its third day of declines, after Credit Suisse downgraded the shares to “underperform” from “neutral.”
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