U.K. Stocks Advance for Third Day Before Fed MeetingTom Stoukas
U.K. stocks advanced for a third day as investors awaited a meeting by the Federal Reserve this week for signals on stimulus measures.
Intermediate Capital Group Plc rose 3.2 percent after saying it got 191.1 million euros ($255 million) in proceeds from an investment in Elis, a linen and sanitary equipment rental company. Vodafone Group Plc climbed 1.5 percent as a gauge of European telecommunications advanced. Imagination Technologies Group Plc slid 3.4 percent after Barclays Plc downgraded the shares.
The FTSE 100 Index gained 22.23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,330.49 at the close of trading in London. The gauge lost 1.6 percent last week amid speculation central banks may reduce stimulus measures. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also added 0.4 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index increased 0.3 percent.
“Market participants are in the hunt for defensive stocks ahead of the crucial Fed meeting,” Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities in London, wrote in an e-mail. “Given recent market moves on the downside due to economic uncertainties, market participants are more income seekers.”
The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the FTSE 100 today was 17 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
The Fed will hold its two-day policy meeting this week, with Chairman Ben S. Bernanke scheduled to speak after the central bank’s decision on June 19.
The U.S. central bank is buying $85 billion of Treasuries and mortgage securities a month to spur the economy, and has kept the target for overnight lending between banks at almost zero since December 2008.
Group of Eight leaders gather for a two-day summit in Northern Ireland today with trade near the top of the agenda. European leaders seeking a path to economic growth while curbing their debt will focus on the benefits of a trade agreement with the U.S. after the European Union authorized the start of talks.
Intermediate Capital rose 3.2 percent to 439.8 pence. The London-based money manager said it has realized its mezzanine investment in Elis, with total proceeds of 191.1 million euros, of which 150 million euros is the repayment of principal.
Vodafone, the world’s second-largest wireless company, added 1.5 percent to 182.7 pence. A gauge of telecom stocks was the best performer on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Invensys Plc, the engineering company whose takeover discussions with Emerson Electric Co. broke down last year, added 1.2 percent to 410.3 pence. Canaccord Genuity Corp. said the company looks more attractive to potential buyers after the sale of its rail business.
Carillion Plc gained 2.7 percent to 262.2 pence. The construction and services provider said it won a 130 million-pound ($204 million) contract for work on the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center Project.
Imagination Technologies declined 3.4 percent to 304.7 pence. Barclays cut the U.K. designer of chip technology for phones and tablets to equal weight, the equivalent of hold, from overweight, citing downward pricing pressure in the smartphone market.
ARM Holdings Plc, whose products power Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, fell 3.7 percent to 830 pence. Numis Securities downgraded the stock to reduce from hold, citing increased market share for competitor Intel Corp.