U.K. stocks were little changed, after the benchmark FTSE 100 (UKX) Index rose to the highest level in 5 1/2 years, as investors awaited a report on industrial production in the world’s biggest economy.
Severn Trent Plc (SVT) declined 1.3 percent after rejecting a takeover offer. Easyjet Plc (EZJ) climbed 5.9 percent after saying it expects an improvement in full-year profitability. London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) advanced 2.6 percent after reporting annual profit that beat analysts’ estimates.
The FTSE 100 lost 3.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,682.11 at 9:04 a.m. in London. The gauge rose yesterday to the highest level since October 2007. It has surged 13 percent this year as central banks maintained stimulus measures. The broader FTSE All-Share Index was little changed today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index gained 0.5 percent.
In the U.S., a report at 9:15 a.m. in Washington may show industrial production fell in April for the first time in three months. Output at factories, mines and utilities decreased 0.2 percent, after gaining 0.4 percent in March, economists forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
The German economy expanded less than forecast in the first quarter and France’s slipped into recession, data showed today. Gross domestic product in Europe’s largest economy rose 0.1 percent from the fourth quarter, when it fell a downwardly revised 0.7 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent gain.
The French economy contracted 0.2 percent in the three months through March after shrinking the same amount in the final quarter of last year.
The number of shares changing hands in companies on the FTSE 100 was 5.4 percent greater than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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