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U.K. Stocks Gain as Imperial Tobacco Rises on Deal Talks

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. stocks rose, paring a weekly loss for the FTSE 100 Index, as Imperial Tobacco Group Plc rallied and concern eased over the euro area’s so-call peripheral countries.

Imperial Tobacco rallied 3.1 percent after saying it is in discussions to acquire some assets and brands owned by U.S. companies. Kazakhmys Plc fell 2.7 percent as London-listed miners lower slid.

The FTSE 100 Index added 17.8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,690.17 at the close in London. The equity gauge dropped 2.6 percent this week, the biggest weekly retreat since March, as investors weighed valuations that hovered near the highest level since December 2009 and amid signs of financial stress in Portugal. The broader FTSE All-Share Index and Ireland’s ISEQ Index each advanced 0.2 percent today.

House-price growth slowed in June as new mortgage regulations damped activity and some of London’s most expensive areas posted declines, a survey showed. Values in England and Wales rose 0.7 percent from May, according to data complied by Acadata Ltd. Prices gained 9.6 percent from a year earlier to 268,637 pounds ($459,900), the real-estate research firm and LSL Property Services Plc said in a report.

Imperial Tobacco rallied 3.1 percent to 2,740 pence. The maker of Gauloises cigarettes said it is in talks with Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. for a deal in the event of a merger between them. Imperial is lining up $7 billion to buy some brands that Lorillard and Reynolds would sell off to assuage any concerns raised by the U.S. government, people with knowledge of the matter said yesterday.

Kazakhmys dropped 2.7 percent to 315.2 pence, while African Barrick Gold Plc declined 3.1 percent to 225.3 pence. Randgold Resources Ltd. lost 2.2 percent to 5,120 pence. Fresnillo Plc retreated 1.8 percent to 928 pence. The FTSE 350 Mining Index fell 0.2 percent, with 11 of its 15 companies sliding.

To contact the reporters on this story: Inyoung Hwang in London at ihwang7@bloomberg.net; Anna Hirtenstein in London at ahirtenstein@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net Srinivasan Sivabalan

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