U.K. stocks moved higher for a second straight session on Wednesday, tracking overnight gains in Asia and the U.S., as investors waited for the latest policy decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The FTSE 100 index UKX, +0.39% climbed 0.5% to 6,435.47, building on a 0.6% advance from Tuesday. The broader European markets were also on the rise, with all eyes on the Fed. The Federal Open Market Committee is expected announce an end to its bond-buying program, but vow to keep rates low for a considerable amount of time, in a decision expected at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, or 6 p.m. London time.
Mining shares posted some of the biggest gains in the U.K. benchmark, with shares of Randgold Resources Ltd. RRS, +2.19% up 2.2%, Glencore PLC GLEN, +1.75% rising 1.7% and BHP Billiton PLC BLT, +0.89% BHP, +0.69% BHP, +1.38% adding 1%.
On a more downbeat note, shares of Next PLC NXT, -2.18% lost 2.7% after the clothing retailer cut its full-year pretax profit guidance.
Standard Life PLC SL., -1.25% dropped 1.6% even after the insurer said it has seen assets under management grow across all of its markets and has expanded its customer base in the U.K.