U.K. stocks rose for a second day, paring a weekly loss, as Marks & Spencer Group Plc led gains.
The retailer rallied 4.4 percent after sales at its non-food unit rebounded from a three-year slump and beat estimates. Imperial Tobacco Group Plc and British American Tobacco Plc rose more than 1 percent after a report that U.S. regulators are in favor of approving a merger between two peers. BHP Billiton Ltd. dropped 2.6 percent, leading miners lower.
The FTSE 100 Index climbed 0.4 percent to 6,833.46 at the close in London, trimming its weekly drop to 0.3 percent. A rally in banks pushed the benchmark gauge higher yesterday. The FTSE All-Share Index rose 0.4 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index was little changed. Markets are closed tomorrow for Good Friday.
Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Pearson Plc and two other stocks are trading without the right to dividend, shaving 3.3 points off the FTSE 100, data compiled by Bloomberg show.