U.K. Stocks Rise as Investors Await BOE, ECB Meetings

U.K. stocks advanced for a second day as investors awaited meetings by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, and as the Federal Reserve said it saw a recovery in the U.S. economy.

InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG) climbed 3.7 percent after UBS AG recommended the shares. HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Lloyds Banking Group Plc paced a rally in U.K. lenders, each rising at least 2 percent. EasyJet Plc (EZJ) added 2.8 percent as the discount airline said its passenger numbers rose in August from a year earlier. Dixons Retail Plc (DXNS) surged to to its highest price since September 2008 after agreeing to sell its Turkish operations and receiving an offer for its Pixmania unit.

The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) gained 50.52 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,525.26 at 9:23 a.m. in London. The gauge fell 3.1 percent in August as concern grew the Federal Reserve will start reducing stimulus measures this year and that the U.S. and its allies will take military action against Syria. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also climbed 0.8 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index rose 0.9 percent.

Bank of England officials will probably maintain the stock of bond purchases 375 billion pounds ($585 billion) and hold its bank rate at 0.5 percent this month, economists forecast in Bloomberg surveys. The decisions are due at noon in London, after the Monetary Policy Committee meets for the first time since the central bank introduced forward guidance.

The European Central Bank will announce its interest-rate decision at 1:45 p.m. in Frankfurt. Economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the central bank will maintain the rate at 0.5 percent. President Mario Draghi holds a press conference 45 minutes later.

Beige Book

In the U.S., demand for automobiles and housing helped boost growth in the world’s biggest economy, the Fed said in its Beige Book survey.

“Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest that national economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace during the reporting period of early July through late August,” according to a statement late yesterday.

U.S. data today may show first-time jobless claims fell last week, while the services industry expanded at a slower pace in August from a month earlier, according to the median forecasts of economists in separate surveys.

Another release from Automatic Data Processing Inc. may show companies in the U.S. hired 182,000 workers in August, compared with 200,000 in July, according to the median prediction of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

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.

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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