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April 25, 2013, 12:04 p.m. EDT

U.K. stocks rise as GDP data beat views

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By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) — U.K. stocks climbed for a third straight day on Thursday, after better-than-expected growth data for the country, and with heavyweights British American Tobacco PLC and Vodafone Group PLC helping drive the benchmark index higher.

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.38% rose 0.2% to close at 6,442.59.

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On top of investors’ minds on Thursday, the Office for National Statistics said the U.K. economy avoided a triple-dip recession in the first quarter. GDP rose 0.3%, beating expectations of a 0.1% improvement.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.2920%  rallied after the news, rising to $1.5430 from trading around $1.53 ahead of the data and up from $1.5265 in late North America trade on Wednesday.

“A continuation of growth in the second quarter is by no means assured. The euro-zone crisis is not only hurting exports but is also having a damaging effect on global business confidence,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, in a note.

“At the same time, weak domestic spending and investment by businesses can be linked to lingering uncertainty about the economic outlook and a lack of lending. Consumer spending is meanwhile being subdued by job worries, low pay and high inflation,” he added.

Investors also digested earnings results from major FTSE components. Shares of British American Tobacco PLC /zigman2/quotes/209116881/delayed UK:BATS -0.71%   /zigman2/quotes/210207837/composite BTI -0.86%  added 1.2%, after the firm said first-quarter revenue went up 5% at constant exchange rates. Additionally, the board said it’s confident of another year of earnings growth in line with long-term strategic goals.

Shares of Vodafone Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/202484985/delayed UK:VOD -0.03%   /zigman2/quotes/202862751/composite VOD -0.59%  added 1.7%, after reports said Verizon Communications Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204980236/composite VZ -0.38%  plans to bid for total ownership of joint venture Verizon Wireless.


Reuters
Vodafone shares rise on Thursday.

Mining firms were also among notable advancers, tracking metals prices higher. Randgold Resources Ltd. jumped 5.4%, Antofagasta PLC /zigman2/quotes/200173667/delayed UK:ANTO -0.08%  added 4.6% and Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES +3.17%  climbed 3.5%.

On a more downbeat note, AstraZeneca PLC /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN -0.58%   /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN -1.81%  lost 1.9%, after the drug maker reported a 36% drop in first-quarter pretax profit, falling short of analysts’ expectations.

Unilever PLC /zigman2/quotes/205449809/delayed UK:ULVR +0.44%   /zigman2/quotes/204685760/composite UL +5.46%  slid 3%. The consumer-goods firm reported first-quarter sales growth below expectations, as slowing North America growth and a weak start to ice cream purchases in Europe added pressure.

Shares of car insurer Admiral Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/201079056/delayed UK:ADM -0.60%  shaved off 2.2%, after the company said year-on-year car-insurance premiums have dropped around 10%.

Outside the main index in London, shares of Kazakhmys PLC /zigman2/quotes/208098927/delayed UK:KAZ +0.19%  jumped 4.3%. The miner said it’s on track to meet its full-year copper output target.

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,339.05
-23.88 -0.38%
Volume: 248,585
Nov. 27, 2020 12:02p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.3319
-0.0039 -0.2920%
Volume: 0.0000
Nov. 27, 2020 7:16a
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/zigman2/quotes/209116881/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,654.00 p
-19.00 -0.71%
Volume: 861,151
Nov. 27, 2020 12:01p
P/E Ratio
9.59
Dividend Yield
7.93%
Market Cap
£60.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/210207837/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 35.80
-0.31 -0.86%
Volume: 2.45M
Nov. 25, 2020 7:00p
P/E Ratio
10.27
Dividend Yield
7.48%
Market Cap
$81.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$550,051
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/zigman2/quotes/202484985/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
125.64 p
-0.04 -0.03%
Volume: 14.43M
Nov. 27, 2020 12:01p
P/E Ratio
15.98
Dividend Yield
6.38%
Market Cap
£33.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
£423,083
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/zigman2/quotes/202862751/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 16.76
-0.10 -0.59%
Volume: 2.49M
Nov. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.73
Dividend Yield
6.19%
Market Cap
$44.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
$537,274
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204980236/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 60.41
-0.23 -0.38%
Volume: 10.60M
Nov. 25, 2020 7:00p
P/E Ratio
13.66
Dividend Yield
4.15%
Market Cap
$249.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
$976,800
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/zigman2/quotes/200173667/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,214.50 p
-1.00 -0.08%
Volume: 162,675
Nov. 27, 2020 11:59a
P/E Ratio
45.10
Dividend Yield
0.82%
Market Cap
£11.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,123.00 p
+34.50 +3.17%
Volume: 625,857
Nov. 27, 2020 12:01p
P/E Ratio
52.53
Dividend Yield
1.01%
Market Cap
£8.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
7,703.00 p
-45.00 -0.58%
Volume: 866,068
Nov. 27, 2020 12:02p
P/E Ratio
51.48
Dividend Yield
2.80%
Market Cap
£102.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
£270,731
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 52.60
-0.97 -1.81%
Volume: 11.66M
Nov. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
54.91
Dividend Yield
2.60%
Market Cap
$136.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$346,812
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205449809/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
4,602.00 p
+20.00 +0.44%
Volume: 1.92M
Nov. 27, 2020 12:02p
P/E Ratio
23.34
Dividend Yield
3.16%
Market Cap
£119.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
£304,295
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204685760/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 61.28
+3.17 +5.46%
Volume: 4.41M
Nov. 25, 2020 7:00p
P/E Ratio
24.68
Dividend Yield
2.99%
Market Cap
$159.24 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201079056/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,806.00 p
-17.00 -0.60%
Volume: 70,174
Nov. 27, 2020 12:00p
P/E Ratio
16.71
Dividend Yield
5.26%
Market Cap
£8.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208098927/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
639.20 p
+1.20 +0.19%
Volume: 206,849
Nov. 27, 2020 11:52a
P/E Ratio
7.33
Dividend Yield
1.41%
Market Cap
£2.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Sara Sjolin is a MarketWatch reporter based in London. Follow her on Twitter @sarasjolin.

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