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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
05/25/201503:51:11Australia Shares Start Week With Solid Gains
05/22/201515:02:02These Mining Giants Are Throwing in the Towel; Are Iron Ore Prices...
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05/19/201518:14:17ADRs End Lower; Vodafone Edges Down
05/19/201513:18:04LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Climbs Alongside European Markets On...
05/19/201508:45:18LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Climbs Alongside European Markets On...
05/19/201503:23:05Breakthrough for Rio Tinto's $5.4 Billion Oyu Tolgoi Mine Expansion...
05/19/201501:10:11Rio Tinto Set to Expand in Mongolia
05/18/201523:53:50Breakthrough for Rio Tinto's $5.4 Billion Oyu Tolgoi Mine Expansion...
05/18/201519:21:11Oyu Tolgoi Shareholders End Protracted Talks With Agreement
05/15/201505:04:57Australia's Abbott Supports Iron-Ore Probe
05/14/201513:13:25LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Finds Its Footing As Draghi Backs Eurozone...
05/14/201507:24:38LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Slips, With Miners, Glaxo In The Red
05/13/201523:56:09ASIA MARKETS: Australian Shares Fall On Iron-ore Weakness
05/13/201523:50:34Australian Shares Fall on Iron-Ore Weakness
05/13/201523:27:16Asian Shares: Australian Shares Fall on Iron-Ore Weakness
05/12/201517:00:02Are BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Destroying Their Own Industry?
05/12/201510:19:33Coal of Africa Amends Soutpansberg Coal Asset Purchase Agreement
05/11/201512:39:23LONDON MARKETS: Post-election Pop Fades For FTSE 100 But Not...
05/11/201511:40:06Rio Tinto Digs In as Rival Spins Off

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