U.K. Stocks Advance for Sixth Day; Monitise Shares Jump

U.K. stocks rose for a sixth day, closing at their highest level since Nov. 4, after U.S. jobless claims fell more than forecast, fueling optimism over the recovery in the world’s largest economy.

Fresnillo Plc and Antofagasta Plc rallied as commodity producers in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed. Monitise Plc jumped 4 percent on speculation the mobile-payment company will benefit from holiday sales. International Personal Finance Plc sank 16 percent, extending its Dec. 24 drop after the announcement that its Polish unit was fined.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index gained 56.70 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,750.87 at the close of trading in London, posting a 2.2 percent advance this week. The benchmark gauge has risen 14 percent this year as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period of time. The broader FTSE All-Share Index advanced 0.8 percent today, and Ireland’s ISEQ Index jumped 1.7 percent.

“We can still find value and exciting stories,” Georgina Hamilton, whose Miton U.K. Value Opportunities Fund has gained 19 percent this year, said on the phone from London. Miton Group Plc oversees about $4.6 billion. “Obviously there are higher multiples and with that comes more risk if you don’t deliver.”

The volume of shares changing hands in FTSE 100-listed companies was 48 percent below the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ninety stocks in the index tracking 101 companies rose today as 10 fell. The London Stock Exchange was closed in the last two days for the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays.

S&P 500 Record

The S&P 500 in the U.S. climbed 0.5 percent yesterday, a fourth day of gains. A Labor Department report showed that jobless claims declined by 42,000 to 338,000 in the week ended Dec. 21. The median forecast of 42 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 345,000.

Fresnillo advanced 3.6 percent to 735 pence. Antofagasta, the copper company controlled by Chile’s billionaire Luksic family, gained 3.2 percent to 830.5 pence. A gauge of commodity producers in the Stoxx 600 jumped 2.1 percent for the biggest gain among 19 industry groups.

Monitise rose 4 percent to 65.5 pence, a record high. Consumers will spend about 400 million pounds ($661 million) online today, said Joshua Bamfield, director at the Centre for Retail Research in Nottingham. Internet spending gained 15 percent yesterday from the year-earlier period to 540 million pounds, the Telegraph reported. Shares of the London-based company have more than doubled in 2013.

IPF slumped 16 percent to 455.2 pence, taking its two-day loss to 26 percent, the most since May 2009. The company had a conference call today after the lender of small, unsecured cash loans announced Dec. 24 its Polish unit was fined by local regulators for infringing consumer interests.

Chief Executive Officer Gerard Ryan bought 100,000 IPF shares today at 451.5 pence each, according to a filing.

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