U.K. stocks rose for a seventh day, their longest rally since May, as a report showed that China’s economy accelerated for the first time in three quarters.
Prudential Plc, which generated 32 percent of its operating income from Asia last year, climbed to its highest price since at least 1988. William Hill Plc lost 3.2 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its rating on the bookmaker. Anglo American Plc declined 1.4 percent after saying that production at its Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. unit fell.
The FTSE 100 Index added 46.42 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,622.58 at the close in London. The equity benchmark has advanced 2.1 percent this week as President Barack Obama signed into law a measure extending the U.S. government’s borrowing authority until early 2014 and ending a government shutdown that started Oct. 1. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also rose 0.8 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index climbed 0.9 percent.
“The economic data coming in is reasonably strong,” Michael Ingram, a market strategist at BGC Partners LP in London, said by telephone. “The Chinese data indicates a broad-based acceleration across the economy.”
In China, gross domestic product increased 7.8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That matched the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey. The world’s second-biggest economy posted growth of 7.7 percent and 7.5 percent in the first two quarters as it slowed from a 7.9 percent expansion in the final three months of 2012.
Prudential rose 4.1 percent to 1,264 pence. Asia’s contribution to the operating income of the U.K.’s biggest insurer by market value increased in 2011 and 2012.
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc climbed 3.4 percent to 4,502 pence, as makers of household goods climbed on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
William Hill lost 3.2 percent to 403.5 pence. JPMorgan lowered its recommendation to underweight from overweight, meaning that investors should reduce their holdings in the operator of more than 2,300 betting shops. The brokerage said increasing competition may cause analysts to lower their forecasts for the company’s profit in 2014. JPMorgan also lowered its price target to 400 pence from 550 pence.
Anglo American declined 1.4 percent to 1,532 pence. Kumba, which is 70 percent owned by the mining company, said third-quarter iron-ore production at Sishen in South Africa decreased 24 percent to 9.5 million tons from a year earlier.
Computacenter Plc slipped 4.5 percent to 543 pence, its biggest drop since June. UBS AG lowered the technology-services provider to neutral from buy, citing its valuation. The shares have climbed to 13.18 times estimated earnings from 11.81 times at the end of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In the U.S., Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said late yesterday that the central bank should not begin reducing the pace of its $85 billion of monthly asset purchases because the government stopped publishing the data used to gauge the economy’s health during the shutdown.
Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Minneapolis Fed, said in a separate speech that policy makers should leave interest rates at a record low to reduce unemployment even at the risk of temporarily pushing inflation above the central bank’s 2 percent target.