U.K. Stocks Are Little Changed as Utilities Rise While WPP Falls

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U.K. stocks were little changed, with a drop in WPP Plc offsetting a gain in utilities.

Shares of the advertising company declined 1.3 percent after predicting a “demanding” 2015, with sales growth slowing. United Utilities Group Plc and Centrica Plc climbed more than 1 percent. Pace Plc jumped 34 percent after Arris Group Inc. agreed to buy the British set-top box maker. Tesco Plc rebounded after its worst slump of the year.

The FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.1 percent to 7,022.84 at 12:48 p.m. in London after earlier falling as much as 0.5 percent and climbing 0.3 percent. It closed within 1 percent of a record reached on April 15.

The broader FTSE All-Share Index dropped 0.1 percent on Thursday, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index slid 0.5 percent.

Among other companies that moved, Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc climbed 1.4 percent as Sanford C. Bernstein raised its rating on the engine maker. Rio Tinto Group rose 1.2 percent as iron-ore prices jumped.