U.K. Headlines 8/23

Sterling advanced above the $2 mark for the first session in more then a week, reversing losses as investors bid up the British currency on speculation of a BoE hike to six-percent. The pound has traded below the psychologically significant $2 level since August 14th accelerating 0.6 percent to $2.009 from $1.9928 yesterday.

[B][U]UK Headlines:[/U][/B]
[B]EU to End Ban on U.K. Meat and Animal Trade Aug. 25
[/B]European Union regulators will ease an export ban on U.K. meat, livestock and dairy products in two days after British officials contained an outbreak of foot-and- mouth disease. The ban, in place since Aug. 6, will end Aug. 25 for most of the country, the Brussels-based European Commission said in a statement. Farms will be able to export within the 27-nation EU, under the oversight of veterinarians. Movements of animals and products will remain restricted in the area the ailment appeared earlier this month, in Surrey, southwest of London.

-Source: Bloomberg

[B]U.K. Business Spending Increases Less Than Forecast[/B]
U.K. business investment rose less than economists expected in the second quarter, a sign costlier borrowing may be starting to cool the pace of expansion. Corporate spending on equipment, vehicles and buildings rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent from the first three months, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. Economists expected a 2 percent increase, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of nine economists. Investment rose 7.4 percent from a year earlier.

-Source: Bloomberg
[B]FTSE rally enters fifth day[/B]
The rebound on London equities markets entered its fifth consecutive session on Thursday as action by central banks continued to boost sentiment. There were further gains for financial and resource stocks. The FTSE 100 started the session 1.1 per cent higher at 6,266.3, a rise of 71 points adding to the 337 point advance made since last Friday. The blue chip benchmark is now back in positive territory for 2007, trading 45 points above the level at which it opened in January.

-Source: Financial Times