U.K. stocks climbed, halting a three-day decline, as companies from ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) to EasyJet Plc (EZJ) reported increased quarterly sales, while a report indicated that euro-area manufacturing rebounded.
EasyJet jumped to the highest price since it first sold shares to the public in 2000 after also saying full-year earnings may beat analysts’ projections. ARM gained 3.3 percent on its sales report. GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) rose 1.6 percent as investors awaited second-quarter results from the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker. Renishaw Plc (RSW) slid 6.8 percent after posting full-year sales that missed analysts’ forecasts.
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) rallied 36.82 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,634.26 at 9:36 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark has climbed 10 percent from a low on June 24 as the Bank of England provided forward guidance on interest rates for the first time. The FTSE All-Share Index added 0.5 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index rose 0.8 percent.
“The earnings season is very important, much more so for individual stocks than overall markets,” Jonathan Stubbs, head of European and U.K. equity strategy at Citigroup Inc. told Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg Television. “The macro backdrop for corporates isn’t consistently strong, so they’re having to do self-help, restructuring and cost cutting to keep margins and profitability high. They’re generally succeeding in doing that pretty well.”
The volume of shares in FTSE 100 companies changing hands today was 7.7 percent lower than the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
In the euro zone, a measure of manufacturing unexpectedly expanded this month, indicating that activity increased for the first time since July 2011. Indexes of manufacturing based on surveys of purchasing managers exceeded estimates in Germany and France, the 17-nation bloc’s largest economies. The German manufacturing PMI rose to 50.3 this month, signaling expansion for the first time since February for Europe’s biggest economy. The French gauge rose to 49.8 from 48.4 in June.
Chinese manufacturing this month contracted more than forecast, according to a preliminary survey by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. The PMI reading of 47.7 trailed the average analyst estimate of 48.2. Readings below 50 mean that activity shrank.
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