3:30 PM London – The UK indexes gained after consumer confidence improved in January and loan approvals for home purchase climbed in December. Essar ordered to pay $1.235 billion of sales tax deferment benefit, plus interest accrued. BSkyB first-half revenue increased 6%.
The UK indexes gained after positive developments in Europe. Investors are optimistic of a resolution to the Greek debt-swap deal.
Yesterday, European leaders agreed to a new fiscal compact and accelerated the setting up of the rescue funds.
The Czech Republic joined the UK in dissenting from accepting the new fiscal compact that was approved by the rest of 25 nations in the European Union.
The leaders also finalized the setting up of the bailout fund but did not agree on its size and how it will be financed.
Yesterday, traders were jittery after Portuguese bond yields soared on worries that the country may require a second bailout to avoid a bankruptcy.
In London trading FTSE 100 Index gained 27.65 or 0.5% to 5,698.65 and the pound edged higher to $1.5783.
UK Confidence Strengthens
Consumer confidence in the United Kingdom improved in January, according to an index published by survey company GfK NOP.
The group''s index rose to minus-29 in January from the December reading of minus-33. The January reading was the highest since June 2011.
UK Mortgage Approvals Climb
The number of loan approvals for home purchase in the UK rose to 52,939 in December compared to 52,628 in November, the Bank of England said today.
Total lending to individuals rose £0.4 billion in December compared to the £1 billion increase in November.
In a separate report, the Bank of England said M4 money supply fell 1.4% from a month ago in December after falling 0.5% in November.
On a yearly basis, the decline in M4 remained unchanged at 2.5% in December.
Gainers & Losers
ARM Holdings Plc surged 5.1% to 628 pence after the chip designer reported fourth quarter revenues rose 21% to £137.8 million from £113.95 million in the comparable period a year ago. The company''s profit before tax surged 42.2% to £49.67 million from £34.92 million a year ago.
Balfour Beatty gained 0.8% to 275.40 pence after the infrastructure group secured a £90 million contract to upgrade Denmark''s rail signalling system.
British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc soared 3% to 685.50 pence after the Pay-TV broadcaster reported first-half group revenue increased 6% to £3.36 billion from £3.19 billion a year ago, driven by growth in both retail and wholesale operations.
Pre-tax profit in the period grew 28% to £597 million from £467 million last year.