U.K. Stocks Are Little Changed Before U.S. ISM Report

U.K. stocks were little changed, after the benchmark FTSE 100 Index (UKX) yesterday jumped the most in more than eight weeks, as investors awaited a report on U.S. manufacturing.

BT Group Plc (BT/A), the U.K.’s biggest fixed-line phone company, gained 2 percent. Associated British Foods Plc (ABF) added 2 percent as Exane BNP Paribas raised its recommendation for the shares. Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) dropped 1.6 percent, snapping a three-day rally, as Macquarie Bank Ltd. downgraded the mobile-phone operator after it agreed to sell its stake in a joint venture to Verizon Communications Inc.

The FTSE 100 Index climbed 9.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,515.53 at 9:05 a.m. in London, having gained as much as 0.3 percent and declined as much as 0.2 percent. The gauge has advanced 8.1 percent from a low on June 24 as the Bank of England gave forward guidance on interest rates for the first time. The broader FTSE All-Share Index added 0.2 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index was little changed.

“We are expecting a modest slowdown in the ISM manufacturing data,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Capital Markets Ltd. in Dublin, wrote in a note, referring to the Institute for Supply Management’s index. “The volatility in this week will remain elevated given that the economic docket for this week is full of colorful fireworks.”

The volume of shares traded in FTSE 100-listed companies was 26 percent higher than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. manufacturing expanded at a slower pace in August, a report at 10 a.m. New York time may show. The ISM’s factory index dropped to 54 last month from 55.4 in July, economists forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. U.S. reports later this week may show employers in the world’s largest economy added more workers last month than in July, while the country’s services industry grew at a slower pace.

To contact the reporter on this story: Namitha Jagadeesh in London at njagadeesh@bloomberg.net

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

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