U.K. stocks erased their advance as investors awaited a report on manufacturing growth in Europe’s third-largest economy.
Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) climbed 1.9 percent after people familiar with the matter said AT&T Inc. has carried out internal work to prepare for a takeover of Europe’s biggest mobile carrier. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) lost 3.5 percent after the state-owned lender said it will set up an internal bank to house its toxic assets. Meggitt Plc (MGGT) tumbled 8.1 percent after the largest provider of wheels and brakes for military aircraft cut its sales forecast for the year.
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) lost 2.86 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,728.57 at 8:49 a.m. in London, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 0.4 percent. The equity benchmark has still risen 0.1 percent this week, its fourth consecutive weekly gain. The broader FTSE All-Share Index slipped 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index dropped 0.5 percent.
A report at 9:30 a.m. will probably show that Britain’s manufacturing industry expanded at a slower pace in October. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and Markit Economics will say that their measure slipped to 56.4 from 56.7 in September, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Readings greater than 50 mean that activity expanded.
In China, the official manufacturing gauge rose more than forecast to the highest level in 18 months. The purchasing managers’ index increased to 51.4 in October from 51.1 a month earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in a report. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists had called for a reading of 51.2. A PMI from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics also exceeded projections.
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