U.K. stocks were little changed as banks gained, while homebuilders declined before tomorrow’s Bank of England rate decision.
HSBC Holdings Plc advanced 4.5 percent after announcing a $2.5 billion share buyback, softening the blow of lower earnings and a step-back from plans to boost its dividends. Standard Chartered Plc climbed 4.2 percent after its first-half loan impairment charges fell by a third.
Persimmon Plc and Taylor Wimpey Plc paced a drop among housing shares, with economists forecasting the BOE will cut its key rate tomorrow. Investors are speculating on how the BOE will act to limit the fallout from last month’s U.K. vote to leave the European Union, with the central bank also set to release new forecasts and hold a press conference following the policy decision.
The FTSE 100 Index lost 0.2 percent at the close in London. The FTSE 250 Index of mid-caps slid 0.4 percent. The gauge of firms with more domestic exposure than its larger counterpart remains below its level on the day of the Brexit referendum. Ireland’s ISEQ Index rose today.