Economic news

Mining Stocks Push UK's FTSE 100 Higher, Unilever Shines

  • Unilever up Q2 sales beat
  • Miners gain on China stimulus hopes
  • Auto Trader Group down after JPM downgrade
  • rate decisions eyed later in the week
  • FTSE 100 up 0.1%, FTSE 250 off 0.1%

July 25 (Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 edged higher on Tuesday as mining stocks advanced after Beijing pledged to step up policy support for the Chinese economy, while consumer staples major Unilever gained after beating quarterly sales estimates.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.1% as Unilever jumped 4.6%, topping the FTSE 100, after the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream again raised prices to make up for higher costs.

The broader personal care, drug and grocery stores sector rose 2.7%.

Industrial metal miners advanced 2.9%, tracking a rally in most base metal prices after China's top leaders said on Monday that they will step up economic policy adjustments, focusing on expanding domestic demand, boosting confidence and preventing risks.

"The Politburo comments are kind of music to the markets because this is what the market was anticipating," said Giles Coghlan, chief market analyst at HYCM.

"The question now is that the devil will be in the details, in terms of what actually gets delivered on."

The internationally-focussed FTSE 100 is set to post gains for a sixth straight session, its best winning run since April.

The more domestically-focussed FTSE 250 midcap index lost 0.1% as shares of Bridgepoint Group tumbled 9.4% after the alternative asset fund manager's first-half underlying core profit fell 28.7%.

Auto Trader Group slipped 3.9% after JP Morgan downgraded the online car marketplace's stock to "underweight" from "neutral".

Compass Group fell 3.3% after the world's largest catering group maintained its annual outlook.

Unite Group lost 1.4% after the student accommodation company reported a 65% slump in IFRS pre-tax profit for six months ended June 30.

Investors are now focusing on interest rate decisions from the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan later this week, while the Bank of England is widely expected to deliver more monetary policy pain next week.

Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema

Source: Reuters

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