EasyJet's CEO flies off to join ITV
U.K. stocks closed in the green Monday, with mining shares lifted after key metals buyer China posted better-than-expected economic growth figures, while ITV PLC shares rose on news that the broadcaster has named a new head.
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The FTSE 100 index rose 0.4% to end at 7,404.13, building on last week's gain of 0.4%.
Mining shares were among the strongest performers Monday after China's second-quarter gross domestic product growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-economy-beats-outlook-grows-69-in-q2-2017-07-16) came in at 6.9%, higher than a 6.8% estimate in a Wall Street Journal survey of economists. Miners can be sensitive to China data, as the country is a major consumer of industrial and precious metals.
"The better-than-expected growth numbers from China boosted the share price of Rio Tinto, Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Billiton," said David Madden, a CMC Markets UK analyst, in a note.
Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) climbed 0.7%, Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) added 1.5%, and Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) put on 1.2%.
Also, BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) picked up 1.3% and Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS.LN) tacked on 1.2%.
Mining stocks make up 88% of the weighting in the basic materials group, and that group contributes an 8% weighting to the FTSE 100, FactSet data show.
Meanwhile, ITV PLC shares (ITV.LN) popped up 1.3% after the broadcaster, whose stable of shows includes "Downton Abbey," said easyJet PLC's (EZJ.LN) boss Carolyn McCall will become its new chief executive on Jan. 8 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/easyjet-boss-carolyn-mccall-to-become-itvs-ceo-2017-07-17).
EasyJet said it is already started looking for McCall's successor. Shares of the budget airline finished with a gain of 1.4%, after losing ground in morning action.
Micro Focus International PLC (MCRO.LN) ended 3.3% higher, but the stock still hasn't reclaimed its closing level on July 11, the day before the software company posted disappointing results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/micro-focus-adjusted-profit-rises-2017-07-12).
Meanwhile, the pound fetched $1.3056, down from $1.3102 late Friday in New York. The pound climbed more than 1% last week.
The U.K.'s Brexit secretary David Davis was back in Brussels Monday to resume talks with European Union officials about Britain's exit from the trade bloc.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 17, 2017 12:06 ET (16:06 GMT)