July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Most U.K. stocks advanced, with the benchmark FTSE 100 Index heading for its biggest monthly gain since January, as advances in mining companies offset losses in bank shares.
Randgold Resources Ltd. and Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. each gained at least 2 percent. Elan Corp. jumped to its highest price in a year after Perrigo Co. agreed to buy the Irish drugmaker. Barclays Plc tumbled 3.5 percent amid speculation that it is planning a capital increase.
The FTSE 100 added 5.46 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 6,560.25, as two stocks rose for every one that fell. The benchmark gauge retreated 1.1 percent last week, ending four consecutive weeks of gains. The broader FTSE All-Share Index was little changed, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index slipped 0.2 percent.
The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the FTSE 100 today was 21 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
In the U.S., new contracts for house sales slipped 0.4 percent in June, after climbing a revised 5.8 percent the previous month. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg had called for a 1 percent drop.
Randgold Resources advanced 3.8 percent to 4,839 pence. ENRC climbed 2.3 percent to 219.8 pence. Anglo American Plc added 2.2 percent to 1,422 pence. A gauge of London-listed mining companies rose 1 percent, following three weeks of gains.
Elan Corp. jumped 3.7 percent to 11.55 euros in Dublin. Perrigo, a U.S. maker of over-the-counter medicines, agreed to buy Elan for $8.6 billion to gain from Ireland’s low tax rates. Holders of Elan’s American depositary receipts will get $16.50 per ADR in cash and stock. The price is 11 percent above the July 26 close for the ADRs.
Hiscox Ltd. jumped 5.3 percent to 643 pence, its biggest gain in more than four years. The insurer said pretax profit rose 44 percent to 180.7 million pounds ($278 million) in the first six months of 2013 from last year, exceeding the median estimate in Bloomberg survey. Hiscox increased its interim dividend by 17 percent to 7 pence a share.
Ophir Energy Plc gained 0.7 percent to 381.6 pence. The U.K. explorer in Africa announced a natural gas discovery off the coast of Tanzania.
Barclays lost 3.5 percent to 309.05 pence. Britain’s second-largest bank by assets said it has been in discussions with the Prudential Regulatory Authority about its capital-management plans and will give an update to investors on July 30. The Financial Times reported that the bank is seeking a 5-billion pound rights issue.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc fell 0.7 percent to 325.6 pence, while Standard Chartered Plc retreated 1.1 percent to 1,485.5 pence. A measure of British banks fell for a third day.
Ryanair Holdings Plc dropped 2.8 percent to 6.97 euros. Europe’s biggest discount airline said the euro-area recession, austerity measures, fuel costs and higher taxes reduced profit in the quarter ended June. Net income fell 21 percent to 78.1 million euros ($103 million), while sales increased 4.5 percent to 1.34 billion euros.
Aberdeen Asset Management Plc fell 1.3 percent to 402.5 pence after reporting quarterly net outflows of 3.4 billion pounds. Scotland’s largest money manager said the assets under its management fell 1 percent to 209.6 billion pounds at the end of June.
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