UK

U.K. Stocks Scales up Most in Three Weeks; EasyJet Progresses

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In the past three weeks, U.K. stocks scaled up recovering from their lowest level for a month, as U.S. consumer confidence increased more than expected.

EasyJet Plc (EZJ) expanded by 3.7% after predicting its loss for six months through March narrowing its previous expectations. Since July 2000, Kingfisher Plc (KGF) rose to its highest price following Europe’s largest home-improvement retailer pledge to refund shareholders. SAB miller Plc scaled up after Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. increased its rating on the brewer. Royal Mail Plc moved down after it announced of retrenchments.

In reference to Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Capital Markets Ltd in Dublin, the economic data released in the U.S. up to this moment has been adding weight to argument that the recovery is still in the correct trend, which should be on the positive direction.

Data complied by Bloomberg suggest that the volume shares changing hands in FTSE 100-listed companies is less by 17% for the average 30 days ago.

There was an increase in consumer confidence this month by 82.3% form the previous record of 78.3% witnessed in February, in reference to the Conference Board. A separate data indicates that in February new-house sales slipped to 440,000 compared to 455,000 in January.

Recent Drop

Amid high tension in Ukraine, the FTSE 100 has lost 3.8% compared to its high on Feb 24. The Group of Seven has pledged more sanctions against Russia which is the world’s energy exporter, following last week’s annexation of Crimea.

Plans are underway to hold the G-8 summit in Brussels this June other than previously scheduled in Sochi. In seeking their next move, U.S. president Barack Obama held a meeting at The Hague with his fellow G-7 leaders; after it emerged Russia is building up its forces on its border with Ukraine.

Kingfisher Climbs

Kingfisher edged up 6% to 430.8 pence. The owner of Castorama stores in France and B&Q in the U.K. promised to refund 200 million pounds to shareholders in 2015 fiscal year. Additionally, the company will sell its entire 21.2% holdings in German retailer Hornbach for about 195 million pounds to the running family.

SABMiller (SAB) increased 5% to 2,978 pence. According to the brokerage, growth may improve significantly due to the effects of emerging-market currency moves diminishing.

Travis Perkins Plc gained 3.3% to 1,862 pence. Citigroup Inc. increased its ratings on builder’s merchant to purchase from neutral, with indications of improving volume trend and promising economic backdrop expected later in the year.

Other Gainers

Homebuilders Persimmon Plc and Barratt increased by 1.1% to 1,333 pence and 2.3% to 402.7 pence, respectively.

Meanwhile Wolseley Plc increased by 3.3% to 3,412 pence. Being the largest distributor of plumbing and heating products, the company reported first-half sales increased by 5.2%, with a rise in trading profit by 8.8%.

888 Holdings Plc (888) rose by 6.1%, the highest since September, to 143.2 pence. The gambling company cited an 8% increase in average daily revenue this year from 2013. Sales climbed to $401 million, beyond analysts’ projections of $397 million.

Royal Mail fell by 3.2% to 565.5 pence. The drop in sales emerged after the mail company announced retrenchment of 1,600 administrative posts to streamline its business.

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