FTSE 100 index rose for the first time in three days


Stock marketU.K.?s FTSE 100 index rose for the first time in three days on Thursday, as heavyweight companies like Rio Tinto PLC and HSBC Holdings PLC advanced after corporate-related news.

The FTSE 100 gained 0.2% to close at 6,810.27, partly recovering from a 0.5% loss on Wednesday.

China?s central bank is deliberately pushing the yuan down to prepare the currency for wider trading.

Helping lift the benchmark, Rio Tinto PLC picked up 1.5% after Standard & Poor?s Ratings Services revised the outlook on the miner to stable and said the it had reported strong 2013 results with credit metrics above expectations.

HSBC Holdings PLC advanced 1.4% after the heavyweight bank confirmed its in discussions with Meezan Bank Ltd. to sell its operations in Pakistan.

Shares of Reed Elsevier PLC put on 1.6% after the publishing firm reported a rise in full-year earnings and raised its dividend.

Shares of British American Tobacco PLC gained 1.4% after the company reported a small rise in full-year profit and said it expects a gradual improvement in the economic environment.

Outside the main index, Man Group PLC rallied 14% after the investment manager said it swung to a full-year profit in 2013 and laid out plans to repurchase $115 million of its ordinary shares to return surplus capital to shareholders.

On a more upbeat note, shares of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC UK:RBS topped the list of decliners, sliding 7.7%, after the 81% state-owned lender posted a loss of ?9 billion ($15 billion) for 2013 and announced a plan to cut ?5 billion in costs over the next few years.

RSA Insurance Group PLC lost 4% after the insurer launched a ?775 million rights issue to strengthen its balance sheet. The company also reported a sharp decline in operating profit, which is a key measure in the insurance industry.

WPP PLC slumped 3.5% after the advertising giant said it missed its margin target for 2013. The slide in many emerging-market currencies against the pound weighed on profit in the second half and particularly in the last quarter of the year, the company said.

Another insurer, Standard Life PLC lost 0.9% after the company reported a 30% drop in full-year profit.

Aviva PLC gave up 0.8% after the insurer said it has appointed Monique Shivanandan as chief information officer.

Source MarketWatch

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