Royal Mail Group Ltd. surged 35 percent on its first day of conditional trading. Standard Life Plc (SL/) advanced 1.7 percent for the biggest gain in the benchmark gauge after JPMorgan Chase & Co. added the insurer to a list of recommended stocks. Whitbread Plc (WTB) added 1.3 percent after Citigroup Inc. raised the owner of Premier Inn budget hotels and Costa coffee shops to buy.
The FTSE 100 increased 17.41 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,447.9 at 8:40 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark rallied 1.5 percent yesterday for the biggest gain since July 4. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also climbed 0.2 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index slipped 0.1 percent.
President Barack Obama and Republican leaders met for 90 minutes at the White House yesterday after House Speaker John Boehner said he would offer a measure to postpone a potential U.S. default to Nov. 22. Without congressional action to raise the debt limit, the government will exhaust its borrowing authority on Oct. 17.
The developments were the first sign that the president and House Republican leaders could resolve the fiscal impasse. The U.S. government has been partially shut down since Oct. 1 after lawmakers failed to approve a budget.
Conditional trading in Royal Mail began in London today. Shares surged 36 percent to 450 pence. The U.K. government said institutional investors that bid for more than 20 times the shares available for sale to them, will get 67 percent of the stock in the initial public offering, down from the planned allocation of 70 percent. The remaining 33 percent will go to small retail investors. The IPO raised 1.7 billion pounds ($2.7 billion).
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