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U.K. Stocks Little Changed Amid Earnings as Capita Climbs

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. stocks were little changed, after closing at a two-week high, as investors weighed companies’ earnings reports.

Capita Plc climbed to the highest price in at least 25 years after reporting revenue that beat analysts’ estimates. GlaxoSmithKline Plc slid the most since 2008 as second-quarter earnings missed projections. Johnson Matthey Plc dropped 1.2 percent after posting an 11 percent decline in first-quarter underlying operating profit.

The FTSE 100 Index rose 2.81 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,798.15 at the close in London. The gauge advanced 1 percent yesterday as commodity producers rallied and ARM Holdings Plc climbed after predicting faster royalty revenue growth in the second half of 2014. The FTSE All-Share Index and Ireland’s ISEQ Index each gained 0.1 percent today.

The Bank of England said some members of the Monetary Policy Committee have started to argue that the risk of a rate increase undermining the U.K.’s economic recovery has fallen. The nine-member panel voted unanimously to keep the benchmark rate at a record low of 0.5 percent, according to minutes of the July 9-10 policy meeting released today.

Capita advanced 4.8 percent to 1,210 pence. The services provider to government agencies reported a 14 percent increase in revenue to 2.07 billion pounds ($3.53 billion) in the first half of the year, according to a statement. That beat the average analyst estimate of 2.01 billion pounds.

Glaxo dropped 4.7 percent to 1,481.5 pence. The U.K.’s biggest drugmaker said that profit excluding certain items fell to 1.41 billion pounds, or 19.1 pence a share, from 1.88 billion pounds as sales of its respiratory drugs in the U.S. remain sluggish. Analysts had estimated earnings of 21.6 pence a share.

Johnson Matthey slid 1.2 percent to 3,022 pence. The auto-catalysts producer posted underlying operating profit of 103.6 million pounds for the first quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt at jmorgan157@bloomberg.net

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

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