U.K. stocks were little changed as investors awaited U.S. data to gauge the health of the world’s largest economy before releases from central banks that may shed light on the path of monetary policy.
ITV Plc slipped 1.7 percent as Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit cut its rating on the broadcaster. Weir Group Plc lost 1.3 percent after HSBC Holdings Plc recommended that investors sell the shares of the pumpmaker. Telecom Plus Plc (TEP) rallied the most in almost six years as it said six-month sales increased 17 percent.
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) fell 4.9 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 6,693.11 at 8:46 a.m. in London. The benchmark gauge has climbed 13 percent this year, reaching a valuation of 13.7 times the estimated earnings of its members, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The broader FTSE All-Share Index (ASX) was also little changed today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index increased 0.3 percent.
U.S. data at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show retail sales rose 0.1 percent last month after dropping 0.1 percent in September, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. A separate release at 10 a.m. will probably show sales of previously owned homes slowed to a 5.14 million annual pace, from a 5.29 million rate a month earlier.
The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its October policy meeting after the close of European markets. The document will reveal more details behind the decision to press on with $85 billion in monthly asset purchases. Fed policy makers will probably pare that pace to $70 billion at their March 18-19 meeting, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
In the U.K., the Bank of England publishes the minutes of its Monetary Policy Committee’s Nov. 6-7 meeting at 9:30 a.m. in London, where officials kept the benchmark interest rate at a record low and maintained the pace of bond purchases. The group will next meet on Dec. 4-5.
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