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U.K. Stocks Advance for First Time in Four Days

EasyJet surged 7.3 percent to 1,433 pence after Europe's second-biggest discount airline said fiscal third-quarter sales rose 11 percent to 1.14 billion pounds ($1.8 billion). Photographer: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg
EasyJet surged 7.3 percent to 1,433 pence after Europe's second-biggest discount airline said fiscal third-quarter sales rose 11 percent to 1.14 billion pounds ($1.8 billion). Photographer: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. stocks gained, halting a three-day decline, after a report indicated euro-area manufacturing rebounded and as EasyJet Plc led travel shares higher.

EasyJet jumped 3.7 percent after saying full-year earnings may beat analysts’ projections. BG Group Plc and Tullow Oil Plc both lost more than 1.5 percent. Renishaw Plc slid 2.6 percent after posting full-year sales that missed analysts’ forecasts.

The FTSE 100 Index rose 22.99 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,620.43 at the close in London, after gaining as much as 1 percent and losing as much as 0.2 percent. The equity benchmark has climbed 9.8 percent from a low on June 24 as the Bank of England provided forward guidance on interest rates for the first time. The FTSE All-Share Index added 0.3 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index jumped 1.7 percent.

“The earnings season is very important, much more so for individual stocks than overall markets,” Jonathan Stubbs, head of European and U.K. equity strategy at Citigroup Inc. told Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg Television. “The macro backdrop for corporates isn’t consistently strong. So they’re having to do self help -- restructuring and cost cutting -- to keep margins and profitability high. They’re generally succeeding in doing that pretty well.”

The volume of shares changing hands in FTSE 100 companies today was 9.7 percent lower than the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Euro Area

In the euro zone, a measure of manufacturing unexpectedly expanded this month, indicating that activity increased for the first time since July 2011. Factory indexes based on surveys of purchasing managers exceeded estimates in Germany and France, the 17-nation bloc’s largest economies. The German manufacturing PMI rose to 50.3 this month, signaling expansion for the first time since February for Europe’s biggest economy.

EasyJet rose 3.7 percent to 1,385 pence after Europe’s second-biggest discount airline said fiscal third-quarter sales rose 11 percent to 1.14 billion pounds ($1.8 billion). The company forecast full-year pretax profit of 450 million pounds to 480 million pounds, exceeding the average analyst forecast of 431 million pounds.

Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest discount airline, rallied 4.8 percent to 7.37 euros in Dublin. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, climbed 1.9 percent to 291.4 pence. A gauge of travel and leisure companies posted the best performance of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Tate & Lyle

Tate & Lyle Plc gained 3.6 percent to 853 pence, its biggest gain in almost three weeks, after the maker of Splenda sweetener said volume and revenue at its specialty-food ingredients unit rose at a faster pace than the rest of the market in its fiscal first quarter.

“We continue to expect to deliver another year of profitable growth,” the company said in a statement.

Tullow Oil lost 1.9 percent to 1,021 pence. The energy explorer slid the most in three months yesterday after saying it failed to find commercial quantities of crude or gas at wells off the coasts of Mozambique and French Guiana.

BG Group, the U.K.’s third-biggest natural-gas producer, slid 2.1 percent to 1,185 pence.

Renishaw decreased 2.6 percent to 1,527 pence after the maker of precision tools reported full-year sales of 346.9 million pounds. That trailed the consensus estimate of 351.7 million pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Namitha Jagadeesh in London at njagadeesh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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