London Stocks Gain on Positive Earnings

Feb 4 Reuters British shares rose on Thursday as a set of positive earnings boosted hopes of an economic recovery, with investors looking to Bank of Englands policy meeting later in the day.

The BoE is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate on hold at 0.1 and refrain from a further increase in its bondbuying programme, which has doubled over the past year.

The bluechip FTSE 100 index rose 0.2, with travel and mining stocks leading the gains, while the midcap index added 0.3.

BT, Britains biggest broadband and mobile operator, climbed 2.7 and was the top gainer on the FTSE 100 index after saying it remained on track for the year.

Britains biggest housebuilder Barratt rose 3.1 on a near 2 increase in its firsthalf pretax profit, benefiting from a rebound in demand.

Oil producing heavyweight Royal Dutch Shell gained 0.3 after raising its firstquarter dividend, but its fourthquarter profit dropped 87, dragged down by continued weak energy consumption.

However, FMCG company Unilever dropped 3.6 even after its fourthquarter sales growth met estimates, buoyed by strong demand in emerging markets.

Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

Source Reuters


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