U.K. stocks rose, after four weeks of gains for the benchmark FTSE 100 (UKX) Index, as HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) rallied after reporting results and investors awaited a European Central Bank policy meeting this week.
HSBC Holdings Plc added 2.1 percent as third-quarter pretax profit rose 30 percent. Rio Tinto Group and Antofagasta Plc (ANTO) each advanced more than 1 percent. Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA) tumbled 11 percent in Dublin, leading airline shares lower, after forecasting a drop in full-year profit. Weir Group Plc slid 7.8 percent after saying currency swings will reduce profit.
The FTSE 100 rose 33.51 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,768.25 at 9:01 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark climbed 0.2 percent last week. It has gained 15 percent this year, heading for the best annual performance since 2009. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also increased 0.5 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index slipped 1 percent.
HSBC gained 2 percent to 701.1 pence. Pretax profit rose to $4.53 billion in the third quarter from $3.48 billion in the year-earlier period, the lender said.
Investors awaited the ECB’s interest-rate decision at a monthly policy meeting on Nov. 7, as the euro fell to a six-week low in intra-day trading. Bank of America Corp., UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc predict the central bank will cut its benchmark rate from a record low of 0.5 percent at the meeting, according to a Bloomberg survey of 68 economists. The rest forecast no change.
The CBI, a U.K. business lobby, said in a quarterly report it expects the British economy to expand 1.4 percent this year and 2.4 percent in 2014. That compares with its August forecast of 1.2 percent in 2013 and 2.3 percent next year. It also estimated unemployment will fall to 7.2 percent at the end of 2015 from its current 7.7 percent.
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