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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
11/21/201412:30:09EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Enjoy China, Draghi Economic-policy...
11/21/201412:17:30LONDON MARKETS: Miners Lead FTSE 100 To Two-month High After...
11/21/201411:24:49EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Enjoy China, Draghi Economic...
11/21/201408:50:03LONDON MARKETS: London Miners Rally After China's Central Bank...
11/21/201407:24:13EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Rally After China Rate Cut, ECB...
11/20/201412:26:52LONDON MARKETS: Miners, British Gas Parent Pull FTSE 100 Lower
11/20/201412:18:25EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks End Lower On Disappointing PMI...
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11/20/201405:47:08EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks, Euro Fall As On Disappointing...
11/20/201404:36:31LONDON MARKETS: Centrica Falls In London After Warning; Miners...
11/20/201402:47:48BHP Vows to Focus on Investor Returns -- Update
11/19/201413:18:02European Shares Broadly Unchanged -- 3rd Update
11/19/201412:28:33EUROPE MARKETS: European Mining Shares Struggle On Drop In Iron-ore...
11/19/201412:21:25LONDON MARKETS: Royal Mail, Pub Stocks Sink In London Trade;...
11/19/201405:07:12From Iron Awe to Iron Gore -- Barron's Asia
11/14/201412:29:06EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Slip; Eurozone Data Highlight...
11/14/201411:02:22LONDON MARKETS: Tesco Gains After Upgrade, But Miners Fall In...
11/14/201407:50:41EUROPE MARKETS: Oil Stocks Fall In Europe; Eurozone Data Highlight...
11/11/201412:30:01LONDON MARKETS: Vodafone Surges In London; Miners Sag
11/11/201411:04:05LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Off High As Miners Suffer, But Vodafone...

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