U.K. Stocks Are Little Changed Before BOE Decision
U.K. stocks were little changed, after yesterday rallying to the highest level since November 2007, before Bank of England policy makers announced their decision on monetary policy.
Experian Plc (EXPN) jumped 5.2 percent after the world’s biggest credit-checking company posted better-than-estimated profit and raised its dividend. Old Mutual Plc (OML) advanced 2.2 percent as the biggest insurer in Africa said funds under management rose 10 percent in the first quarter. Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc (MRW) dropped 2.4 percent as the smallest of the U.K.’s four main supermarket chains reported a drop in first-quarter sales.
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) slipped 6.17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,577.31 at 9:31 a.m. in London. The benchmark gauge has still surged 12 percent this year as central banks maintained stimulus measures. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also fell 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index lost 0.5 percent.
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King will today assess whether to push for more stimulus, a proposal that policy makers have rejected an unprecedented three times, after a report last month showed the British economy returned to growth. King leads his penultimate meeting before being replaced by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney on July 1.
The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee will maintain the target for asset purchases at 375 billion pounds ($583 billion), according to the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. The central bank will also leave its interest rate unchanged at 0.5 percent, economists projected. The decisions are due at noon in London.
The number of shares changing hands in companies on the FTSE 100 was 4 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
U.K. industrial production rose more than economists forecast in March as cold weather boosted demand for electricity and gas. Output increased 0.7 percent from February, when it gained 0.9 percent, the Office for National Statistics said today. The median forecast of 31 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a gain of 0.2 percent.
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