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LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stock Index Up As Unemployment Falls

By Preeti Upadhyaya, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) -- An unexpected drop in U.K. unemployment boosted the stock market Wednesday, while U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's statements suggested the central bank was prepared for more stimulus measures if needed. The FTSE 100 index closed 1% higher at 5,685.77. London's main equities benchmark got a lift from the U.K. jobless rate, which dropped to 8.1% for the three-month period ended in May, down from 8.3% in the previous period and better than the 8.2% consensus that analysts polled by Factset Research had forecast. Minutes from The Bank of England's decision earlier this month showed a 7-2 vote in favor of boosting asset purchases by 50 billion pounds ($78.2 billion) in what is known as the Funding for Lending Scheme, designed to boost economic activity and the credit supply. UK rates The Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep the bank's key interest rate unchanged at 0.5%, but it's "keeping the door open" to an autumn rate cut, according to a note from analysts at Danske Bank. "Despite voting unanimously to keep the base rate unchanged at 0.5%, it seems that a 25 basis point rate cut could be on the cards if the current round of asset purchases does not have the desired effect on the economy," the note said. "We have long been skeptical about the effectiveness of additional [quantitative easing] in its traditional form and have argued for the use of other measures." Central-bank action was also in the spotlight in the U.S., where the Fed's Ben Bernanke wrapped up the second day of his twice-a-year monetary- policy testimony before Congress. The chairman maintained that the central bank stands ready to act and inject more stimulus if needed, but he did not bring any detailed plans of further quantitative easing to the table. Movers Precious-metals firm Fresnillo PLC led the FTSE 100 higher, rising 1.6% after reporting record gold production for the fiscal second quarter. Mining giant BHP Billiton (BHP) fell 2%, despite having reported strong fourth-quarter production results and highlighting a 12th consecutive annual production record from its iron-ore mining operations in Western Australia. Rio Tinto PLC(RIO) was up 0.5%. Metals prices were down overall. Also on the move, shares of investment firm Ashmore Group PLC climbed 2.6% after Goldman Sachs upgraded its rating to buy from neutral. Heavyweight bank HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) slipped 0.3%, as a top compliance executive said Tuesday he would step down in response to an ongoing U.S. government investigation into money laundering. G4S PLC rose 2%, rebounding from losses earlier in the week as it grappled with its London Olympics security-contract fiasco. RSA Insurance Group PLC rose 0.6% even after saying in a statement that record rains in the U.K. could cost the firm around 40 million pounds, or $62.5 million. United Utilities Group PLC fell 0.3%, while Reed Elsevier PLC dropped 1.6% and Hammerson PLC shed 0.6%. Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stock News for Companhia Vale (RIO)
DateTimeHeadline
08/04/201504:18:37Australian Shares End Higher, Helped by Earnings and Sales Data
07/28/201504:28:06Australia Shares End Slightly Down; Energy Stocks Rise
07/23/201509:00:00Industrial Metals and Minerals Stocks under Review -- Uranium...
07/23/201503:50:48Fortescue Deepens Cuts as Iron-Ore Downturn Bites
07/22/201506:50:53Tech, Resources Stocks Weigh on European Markets -- Update
07/21/201503:51:17Australia Shares Extend Gains for Sixth Straight Day
07/20/201504:07:10Australia Shares Rise for a Fifth Straight Session
07/16/201518:01:37ADRs End Higher; National Bank of Greece Declines
07/16/201514:26:21Anglo American Takes up to $4 Billion in Write-Downs -- 2nd Update
07/16/201504:50:10Anglo American Takes up to $4 Billion in Write-Downs -- Update
07/16/201504:00:11Anglo American Takes up to $4 Billion in Write-Downs
07/15/201522:40:45Rio Tinto Trims Iron-Ore Export Target
07/15/201522:12:09Rio Tinto Scales Down Iron Ore Shipment Target-- Update
07/15/201519:21:40Rio Tinto Iron-Ore Shipments Jump 8% for Quarter
07/14/201520:02:38Iron-Ore Trade Quiet as Sellers Hold Cargoes -- Market Talk
07/09/201521:23:18Correction to Energy Resources Article
07/09/201519:23:14Energy Resources Reports 20% Drop in Uranium-Oxide Output
07/08/201518:45:13ADRs End Lower; National Bank of Greece Declines
07/08/201502:52:45Rio Tinto to Ship First Aluminum From Revamped Kitimat Smelter
07/06/201510:05:025 Stocks to Watch in Commodities

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