U.K. Stocks Climb, Led by BP; Rio Paces Rally in Mining Shares

U.K. Stocks Climb, Led by BP; Rio Paces Rally in Mining Shares

U.K. stocks rose, led by BP Plc. Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton led a rally among mining companies.

The FTSE 100 Index added 73, or 1.3 percent, to 5635.90 at 8:42 a.m. in London, trimming its weekly loss to 2.2 percent. The FTSE All-Share Index increased 40.54, or 1.4 percent, to 2865.78. Ireland’s ISEQ Overall Index climbed 1.3 percent to 7282.55, cutting its loss so far this week to 4.8 percent.

“The rebound across Europe is expected as historically, whenever there is a sell-off based on profit-taking and no other concrete reasons, we’ve always seen a correction higher pretty quickly,” said Jamie Coleman, senior fund manager at EFG Wealth Management, where he helps to manage $550 million.

“The question now is whether or not it’s sustainable and it will be interesting to see how the market reacts after the U.S. trade balance data due this afternoon.”

BP, the world’s second-largest publicly traded oil company, gained 11.5 pence, or 1.9 percent, to 614.5. The shares fell 3.4 percent yesterday.

Rio Tinto, the third-biggest mining company, increased 95 pence, or 3.7 percent, to 2,675. BHP Billiton, the world’s largest, added 31 pence, or 3.3 percent, to 966.5. Anglo American Plc, the world’s No. 2 mining company, rose 64 pence, or 3.5 percent, to 1,909.

The following stocks also rose or fell today. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

Collins & Hayes (CIY LN), a maker of sofas for retailers including Harrods Department Store Co., slumped 0.5 pence, or 16.7 percent, to 2.5, after saying first-half sales are expected to be lower than previous years.

Fuller Smith & Turner Plc (FSTA LN), the largest owner of pubs in London’s financial district, slid 3 pence, or 0.3 percent, to 1,112, after annual profit fell 11 percent on reorganization costs after buying George Gale and Co. Ltd.

House of Fraser Plc (HOF LN), the U.K.’s third-largest department-store company, rose 7.25 pence, or 5.6 percent, to 136. The Daily Telegraph reported that the company has accepted an initial takeover bid of 356 million pounds ($657 million) from Icelandic investor Baugur Group HF, without saying where it got the information. A House of Fraser spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

“We have been expecting an offer at this level since Baugur carried out its dawn raid, followed by Fraser announcing that it had received an approach,” said Richard Ratner, an analyst at Seymour Pierce.

Internet Business Group Plc (IBG LN), a Web site designer, gained 2 pence, or 7.7 percent, to 28. First-half pretax profit rose to 526,000 pounds from 117,000 pounds. Sales climbed to 5.7 million pounds from 2.6 million pounds.

Kesa Electricals Plc (KESA LN) increased 10.75 pence, or 3.9 percent, to 297.75. Shares of the owner of Darty electronics stores in France and Comet in the U.K. were raised to “outperform” from “in-line” by Richard Chamberlain, an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

London Stock Exchange Plc (LSE LN) rose 34 pence, or 3.2 percent, to 1,110. Nasdaq Stock Market Inc.’s proposed purchase of the operator of Europe’s largest equities market may be put on hold until 2007 at the earliest, the Financial Times said, citing Joe Gawronski, chief operating officer at Rosenblatt Securities Inc., an NYSE Group Inc. and Nasdaq brokerage in New York.

Northern Petroleum Plc (NOP LN), an oil and gas company, surged 9.5 pence, or 8.2 percent, to 126. The company received a license to develop the Papekop oil field in the Netherlands.

Provident Financial Group Plc (PFG LN) climbed 18 pence, or 3.2 percent, to 578. Shares of the lender to low-income households were raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Merrill Lynch & Co.

“We believe that the current price now over-discounts the well known risks in this company,” they wrote in a note to investors.

Signet Group Plc (SIG LN), the world’s largest specialty jewelry retailer, gained 3.25 pence, or 3.5 percent, to 95.5, after fiscal first-quarter profit increased 7.7 percent.

Taylor Woodrow PLC (TWOD LN), Britain’s biggest homebuilder by revenue, added 10 pence, or 3.3 percent, to 313.25. The shares were raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by Chris Millington, an analyst at Bridgewell Securities Ltd., who said the company’s U.S. operation offers an “enviable” land bank.

WPP Group Plc (WPP LN) rose 5 pence, or 0.8 percent, to 642.5. China International Trust & Investment Corp.’s advertising unit will end its joint venture with the world’s second-largest advertising company, the Financial Times said, citing an interview with Yan Gang, head of Beijing Guoan Advertising Corp.

A company spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment.


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