U.K. Stocks Advance as Tesco, IAG Sports Direct Increase

U.K. stocks rose, rebounding from yesterday’s decline, led by gains at companies from Tesco Plc to International Consolidated Airlines Group SA.

Tesco, the U.K.’s biggest retailer, rose 2.6 percent after reporting trading profit that exceeded projections. IAG increased 5.1 percent after HSBC Holdings Plc upgraded the shares. Sports Direct International Plc rose 5.6 percent for the biggest gain in the benchmark FTSE 100 Index.

The FTSE 100 added 42.56 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,584.17 at the close of trading, after the gauge lost 0.6 percent yesterday. The broader FTSE All-Share Index gained 0.7 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index increased 1.6 percent.

“The U.K. saw a well received report from Tesco, and some of the best performing stocks over the last year such as IAG and Sports Direct regained their momentum,” said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Plc in London.

A U.S. Commerce Department report showed housing starts in March climbed 2.8 percent to a 946,000 annualized rate following a revised 920,000 pace in February. The median economist forecast called for an increase to 970,000. Separate data showed industrial production increased more than estimated last month.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will address the Economic Club of New York after the close of European markets. The U.S. central bank will also release its economic survey known as the Beige Book.

China Data

In China, a report showed the economy grew at a faster pace than forecast in the first quarter. Another release showed industrial-output growth in March missed projections.

Tesco climbed 2.6 percent to 293.8 pence. The retailer said so-called group trading profit dropped 6 percent to 3.32 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) in the year ended Feb. 22, compared with the 3.23 billion-pound average analyst estimate.

IAG rose 5.1 percent to 395.2 pence. HSBC upgraded the owner of British Airways to overweight, the equivalent of buy, from neutral, saying that the drop in airline shares is a buying opportunity. IAG lost more than 6 percent this year after surging 117 percent in 2013.

Sports Direct, the U.K.’s largest sports retailer, jumped 5.6 percent to 787.5 pence. It slumped 20 percent from its record high on April 4 to a low on April 14.

Burberry Group Plc rose 3.1 percent to 1,466 pence. The U.K.’s largest luxury-goods maker said second-half revenue matched analysts’ estimates as online expansion boosted growth.

Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, the U.K.’s biggest retail broker, retreated 1 percent to 1,199 pence after reporting that assets under administration rose 2.3 billion pounds to 45.7 billion pounds as of March 31.

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