U.K. stocks were little changed, with the FTSE 100 Index heading for its first weekly loss since August, as investors awaited a report on U.S. jobless claims.
TUI Travel Plc (TT/) climbed 2 percent after raising its full-year outlook for operating-profit growth. Tullow Oil Plc (TLW) advanced 1.1 percent after saying it has discovered more oil in northern Kenya. Centrica Plc (CNA) slipped 1.6 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded the biggest energy supplier to U.K. homes. Ladbrokes Plc (LAD) tumbled 8.2 percent after the gambling company said that operating profit for its digital business in 2013 will fall short of the consensus analyst estimate.
The FTSE 100 Index retreated 3.6 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,547.93 at 9:03 a.m. in London. The gauge has slipped 0.7 percent so far this week, paring its monthly gain to 2.1 percent, as euro-area manufacturing data missed economists’ estimates and as U.S. lawmakers neared a deadline to prevent a shutdown of the federal government. The FTSE All-Share Index and Ireland’s ISEQ Index both slipped 0.1 percent today.
The benchmark FTSE 100 has gained 5.3 percent in the current quarter as Chinese economic reports exceeded predictions and as the Federal Reserve unexpectedly refrained from reducing its monthly asset purchases at a September policy meeting. The index has rallied 11 percent so far this year.
A Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington today will show 325,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, compared with 309,000 a week earlier, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
At the same time, the third and final reading of a Commerce Department report may show U.S. gross domestic product expanded an annualized 2.6 percent in the second quarter, economists predicted in a separate survey.
An index of pending house sales in the world’s biggest economy fell 1 percent in August, according to the median forecast in another poll. Sales dropped 1.3 percent in July. The National Association of Realtors release the data at 10 a.m.
U.S. lawmakers have until Monday to agree to an emergency budget to keep the federal government operating from Oct. 1, the beginning of the 2014 fiscal year, through Dec. 15. Failure to pass the bill may lead to a government shutdown.
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