U.K. Stocks Rise as Bernanke Signals Continued Stimulus

U.K. stocks advanced for a third time this week after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the world’s largest economy still needs stimulus measures.

Fresnillo Plc surged 10 percent, as a gauge of London-listed commodity producers rose the most in two months. Balfour Beatty Plc (BBY) gained 4.7 percent after it said full-year results would be in line with expectations. Associated British Foods Plc (ABF) added 6.2 percent as third-quarter sales increased.

The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) added 70.51 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,575.47 at 8:48 a.m. in London. The gauge has risen 3.1 percent so far this week after Alcoa Inc. started the U.S. earnings-reporting season with results that beat analysts’ estimates. The FTSE All-Share Index gained 1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index advanced less than 0.1 percent.

Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s June 18-19 meeting released yesterday in Washington showed “many members indicated that further improvement in the outlook for the labor market would be required before it would be appropriate to slow the pace of asset purchases.” The Fed is buying $85 billion of Treasuries and mortgage debt each month as part of its quantitative easing program.

“Highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what’s needed in the U.S. economy,” Bernanke said yesterday in response to a question after a speech in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Miners Advance

Fresnillo, a silver producer, surged 10 percent to 996 pence as the FTSE 350 Mining Index rose the most since May 3. Antofagasta Plc, the copper producer controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, added 4.6 percent to 852 pence. Polymetal International Plc, the Russian gold producer, gained 8.1 percent to 518 pence.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, climbed 4.3 percent to 1,796 pence. Rio Tinto Group, the second biggest, climbed 5.4 percent to 2,854.5 pence.

Balfour Beatty increased 4.7 percent to 229.9 pence. The U.K.’s largest construction company said full-year results would be in line with management expectations.

Ashmore Group Plc gained 6.5 percent to 374.3 pence, rising for a fourth day. The fund manager that invests in emerging markets said assets under management at the end of June totaled $77.4 billion compared with $77.7 billion in the previous quarter. Net inflows in the quarter stood at $4.5 billion.

Associated British Foods gained 6.2 percent to 1,927 pence. The company said revenue rose 8 percent in the third quarter as sales at its Primark clothing outlets offset declines at the sugar business.

Hays Plc (HAS) advanced 2.7 percent to 97.7 pence, its sixth day of gains. The U.K.’s largest professional-recruitment agency said net fees in the fourth quarter rose 3 percent and forecast full-year operating profit at the top of market estimates of 112.3 million pounds ($169.5 million) to 125.5 million pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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