U.K. Stocks Climb as Rio Tinto Leads Mining-Company Gains

U.K. stocks rose the most in more than two months as mining shares pushed the equity gauge higher after a measure of Chinese manufacturing expanded.

Rio Tinto Group gained 3 percent after Bank of America Corp. raised its recommendation on the world’s second-biggest commodity company. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Glencore Plc added more than 2 percent each. Ocado Group Plc dropped 4.4 percent after saying price competition has increased and posting worse-than-estimated first-half sales.

The FTSE 100 advanced 58.98 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,802.92 at the close in London. The equity gauge dropped 1.5 percent in June amid disappointing euro-area and U.S. data and investor concern that escalating violence in Iraq will disrupt global oil supplies. The broader FTSE All-Share Index gained 0.8 percent today, and Ireland’s ISEQ Index rose 1.1 percent.

Chinese manufacturing expanded in June at the fastest pace this year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed today. The Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 51.0 from 50.8 in May, matching the median analyst estimate. A similar index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics climbed to 50.7 from the previous month’s 49.4. Numbers above 50 signal expansion.

Rio Tinto gained 3 percent to 3,202.5 pence after Bank of America raised its recommendation on the shares to buy from neutral, citing its valuation. The shares have lost 12 percent since a Feb. 19 high.

A gauge of mining companies in the FTSE 350 Index climbed 2.9 percent, the most in more than five months. BHP, the world’s biggest, advanced 2.9 percent to 1,944.5 pence, and Glencore added 2.4 percent to 333.2 pence.

Ocado declined 4.4 percent to 355 pence after saying cautious consumer spending and increased price competition is hurting growth. The online grocer said first-half revenue rose 21 percent to 429.7 million pounds ($735 million) from a year earlier. That missed the average analyst forecast for 440.8 million pounds.

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