1:45 PM London – The UK indexes traded higher as investors shifted focus to the Fed announcement later today after G20 leaders focused on the euro zone. UK jobless claims rose unexpectedly in May. AstraZeneca completed acquisition of Ardea Biosciences.
The UK indexes climbed after the Bank of England policymakers at the last meeting decided to retain the size of quantitative easing at £325 billion in a split vote, the minutes of the meeting showed today.
However, the policy committee was unanimous in holding the interest at a record low 0.50%.
In London, the benchmark index FTSE 100 gained 25.55 or 0.5% to 5,611.83 and the pound edged lower to $1.5731.
Investors were mildly optimistic on the euro zone after European leaders pledged to offer concrete plan to break the cycle of rising debts in highly indebted nations in the euro zone.
UK Jobless Claims Rise
UK unemployment claims increased unexpectedly in May, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed today.
The jobless claims increased 8,100 from April to 1.60 million in May. The claims were stable at 4.9%. The unemployment rate for the February to April period was also unchanged at 8.2%.
Gainers & Losers
AstraZeneca plc soared 3.1% to $43.45 after the biopharmaceutical company said that it completed its acquisition of California-based biotechnology company Ardea Biosciences, Inc. on June 19.
Greenko Group Plc climbed 1.9% to 106 pence after the Indian clean energy specialist said its current operating portfolio of 214.6 MW will be increased to 260 MW in early July when its first wind project in Ratnagiri, in India starts exporting power.
Ryanair Holdings plc gained 0.5% to €4 after the Ireland-based discount airline plans to make an all-cash offer of €1.30 per share for the rival Aer Lingus Group plc, valuing at about €694 million or $879 million.
The Sage Group PLC surged 4.8% to 265.90 pence after the supplier of business management software and services acquired a controlling interest in Folhamatic Group, a provider of accounting, tax and payroll and regulatory content software in Brazil for a total consideration of £125 million.