U.K. Stocks Are Little Changed as BOE Sees Inflation Picking Up

U.K. stocks were little changed as the Bank of England said its next likely move is to raise interest rates as it sees inflation rising in 2016.

The FTSE 100 Index lost less than a point to 6,898.08 at the close in London, having swung between gains and losses of 0.3 percent. Declines in British American Tobacco Plc and Vodafone Group Plc offset an advance in lenders. The benchmark gauge rose to a 15-year high on Tuesday, about 32 points shy of a record. The broader FTSE All-Share Index added 0.1 percent, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index rallied 1.6 percent to its highest level since June 2008.

U.K. inflation may pick up sharply once the impact of the slump in oil prices fades towards the end of 2015, according to the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee’s February meeting. A report on Tuesday showed inflation slowed to a record low in January. The committee said the next most probable policy decision over the next three years was tightening.

Britain’s jobless rate based on International Labor Organization methods fell to a six-year low of 5.7 percent in the three months through December, from 5.8 percent in the previous period, another release showed. Economists had predicted no change.

Vodafone slipped 2.5 percent as telecommunications companies posted the biggest drop among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. BAT lost 1.6 percent, retreating for the first time in three days. Intu Properties Plc slid 3.3 percent as Barclays Plc recommended selling the shares.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Barclays Plc rose at least 1.1 percent.

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