U.K. Stocks Advance; Prudential, Burberry Shares Gain

U.K. stocks advanced after Janet Yellen, nominated to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, said the U.S. economy must improve before the central bank pares monetary stimulus.

Prudential Plc, Britain’s biggest insurer by market value, climbed 1.6 percent after saying nine-month sales rose 6 percent. Burberry Group Plc rose 0.6 percent after reporting first-half earnings.

The FTSE 100 Index gained 53.93 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,683.93 at 8:58 a.m. in London, rebounding from a 1.4 percent loss yesterday. The benchmark has rallied 13 percent this year as central banks around the world commit to maintain monetary stimulus to nurture economic growth. The broader FTSE All-Share Index increased 0.8 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index advanced 0.5 percent.

In testimony prepared for her nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen said the economy and labor market are performing “far short of their potential” and must improve before the central bank can begin reducing its bond purchases.

Prudential rose 1.6 percent to 1,263 pence. The London-based insurer said sales in the period to Sept. 30 this year advanced as gains in the U.S. and Asian markets offset a decline in the U.K.

Revenue climbed to 3.27 billion pounds ($5.3 billion) from 3.08 billion pounds in the year-earlier period, the company said. That met the 3.26 billion-pound average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by the company.

Burberry added 1.1 percent to 1,478 pence. The U.K.’s largest luxury-goods maker reported little changed first-half earnings as the start-up of its own beauty business and weaker wholesale revenue offset growth in retail sales.

Adjusted pretax profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 was 173.9 million pounds compared with 173.4 million pounds a year earlier, the London-based trenchcoat maker said today, less than a month after forecasting that the earnings would be around last year’s level.