Bloomberg News

Most U.K. Stocks Advance on New York Manufacturing

February 15, 2013

U.K. stocks rose, with the benchmark FTSE 100 Index completing a weekly gain, after a report showed that manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly expanded.

Anglo American Plc climbed 1.3 percent after posting full- year underlying earnings that beat estimates. Tesco Plc, the country’s biggest supermarket chain, declined as U.K. retail sales fell in January. Fresnillo Plc dropped the most in nine months after Citigroup Inc. lowered its recommendation for the silver producer.

The FTSE 100 advanced 0.9 point, less than 0.1 percent, to 6,328.26 at the close in London, as 58 shares on the gauge rose and 43 fell. The equity benchmark rallied 1 percent this week, extending its gains so far this year to 7.3 percent. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also added less than 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index slid 0.4 percent.

“Good news is still filtering through from the U.S. economy,” said Oliver Wallin, who helps oversee 2.9 billion pounds as investment director at Octopus Investments Ltd. in London. “The positive start to the year for equity markets has continued and a bullish mood amongst investors remains.”

Manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly expanded in February. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index climbed to 10, the highest since May 2012, from minus 7.8 in January. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists had called for minus 2. Readings less than zero signal contraction.

The volume of shares changing hands in FTSE 100-listed companies was 10 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

G-20 Meeting

Group of 20 finance chiefs are meeting in Moscow amid concern Japan is boosting measures to weaken it currency. The Asian nation is in the spotlight after the yen tumbled about 12 percent in the past three months on the bet that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pursue an aggressive monetary policy. That has led to concern other countries may retaliate with similar measures.

A Feb. 12 statement by Group of Seven officials commits the major industrial countries to refrain from using domestic policies to target exchange rates.

“There’s a very diverse set of expectations going into this meeting from policy makers,” Ian Stannard, head of European foreign-exchange strategy at Morgan Stanley told Guy Johnson on Bloomberg Television. “The most we can hope for is for the G-20 to adopt the G-7 statement which was put out earlier this week.

Anglo American climbed 26 pence to 2,039 pence after reporting full-year underlying earnings of $2.84 billion, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $2.4 billion.

Retail Stocks

U.K. retail sales unexpectedly fell in January for a second month, a report showed. Sales including fuel fell 0.6 percent from December, when they dropped a revised 0.3 percent, the Office for National Statistics said. The median forecast of 24 economists in a Bloomberg News survey had predicted a 0.5 percent gain.

‘‘The data from the U.K. has disappointed once again and that’s going to be a continued concern,’’ Stannard said.

A gauge of retail stocks in the FTSE 350 Index slid 0.8 percent. Tesco dropped 1.6 percent to 364.75 pence and J Sainsbury Plc lost 1.4 percent to 331 pence.

Fresnillo fell 6.3 percent to 1,550 pence after Citigroup downgraded the shares to sell from neutral, citing concern about silver prices and the stock’s valuation. The world’s biggest primary producer of silver is trading at 21 times estimated earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tullett Prebon Plc, the British inter-dealer broker run by Terry Smith, slumped 5.9 percent to 282.8 pence. The Financial Times reported that one of Tullentt’s employees has been implicated in the interest-rate manipulation scandal. The company said no regulator has informed it of any probe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Namitha Jagadeesh in London at njagadeesh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net


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