U.K. stocks rose, posting the second-biggest weekly rally of the year, after the first payrolls report since Janet Yellen took over as Federal Reserve Chairman missed estimates, fueling speculation she will delay further cuts to stimulus.
Persimmon Plc gained 3.4 percent after a report said higher house prices will boost demand and economic growth in the U.K. Tate & Lyle Plc climbed 1.8 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Numis Securities Ltd. raised their ratings on the shares. Tullow Oil Plc dropped 3 percent, following European oil and gas stocks lower.
The FTSE 100 Index added 13.4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,571.68 at the close in London. The benchmark gauge has advanced 1.9 percent since Feb. 4, bringing its weekly rally to 0.9 percent. The FTSE All-Share Index rose 0.3 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index climbed 1.4 percent.
“Markets may be pricing in speculation that the Federal Reserve will give tapering a miss at the next meeting after today’s payrolls data,” said Manish Singh, who helps oversee $2 billion as head of investments at Crossbridge Capital in London. “The jobs data in January was weak, but what if this is weather-related too? Janet Yellen’s testimony on Tuesday is one to look out for cues.”
Yellen on Tuesday delivers the semi-annual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee, after data today showed U.S. payrolls last month increased by 113,000. That missed the 180,000 gain projected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg and follows a revised 75,000 gain in December. Some 262,000 Americans were not at work because of poor weather conditions last month, compared with 273,000 in December.
The Fed in January reduced its $85 billion of monthly bond buying by $10 billion and began cutting the purchases by the same amount this month. Policy makers next meet March 19-20.
The U.K. economy will grow 2.5 percent this year, faster than the 2 percent forecast in November, as rising house prices support consumer spending, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said.
Persimmon, the U.K’s biggest homebuilder by market value, gained 3.4 percent to 1,385 pence. Barratt Developments Plc added 2.2 percent to 402.8 pence.
Tate & Lyle rose 1.8 percent to 774.5 pence. JPMorgan raised its rating on the sugar producer by two levels to overweight, similar to buy, from underweight, citing the potential for higher earnings from its specialty food-ingredients business. Numis upgraded it to add from hold.
Aberdeen Asset Management Plc gained 2.9 percent to 419.8 pence. A statement showed the asset manager reduced its holding in Richter Gedeon Nyrt to 14.89 percent as of Feb. 3. Two days later, the Hungarian drugmaker said its total revenue may decline in 2014. Richter shares have tumbled 12 percent since the guidance.
Tullow dropped 3 percent to 836.5 pence and BG Group Plc lost 3.1 percent to 1,053 pence. A gauge of oil and gas companies posted the second-worst performance among 19 industry groups in the regional benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index.