Most U.K. Stocks Advance as Economic Growth Tops Forecast
Most U.K. stocks advanced as the British economy expanded at the fastest pace in five years in the third quarter, boosted by Olympic ticket sales and a surge in services.
Unilever (ULVR) rallied the most in 10 weeks as revenue growth topped estimates. Debenhams Plc surged to a five-year high after the retailer boosted online sales targets and said it will add more outlets. Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc (BPTY) gained 6.7 percent after announcing a partnership with Zynga Inc. for online poker and casino games. WPP Plc (WPP) fell 2.3 percent as the world’s largest advertising company cut its revenue forecast.
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) climbed 0.27 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 5,805.05 at the close of trading in London, as three stocks rose for every two that fell. The benchmark gauge has rallied 10 percent from this year’s low on June 1 as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to do everything to protect the euro.
“U.K. GDP printed up a whopping 1 percent quarter-on- quarter increase, much better than expectations,” Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at ETX Capital in London, wrote in in an e-mail. “We were all expecting the summer of sports, the Queen’s Jubilee and public holidays to provide a boost, but were unsure how much.”
The FTSE All-Share Index added 0.1 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index rose 0.9 percent. The volume of shares changing hands in FTSE 100 companies was 8.5 percent less than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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