U.K. stocks rebounded from a one-month low on Tuesday, with banks in the driver’s seat, after upbeat construction data fueled optimism about the country’s economy.
The FTSE 100 index UK:UKX +0.48% climbed 0.6% to 6,565.81, after closing down 0.9% on Monday.
Banks posted some of the biggest gains in the index. Shares of HSBC Holdings PLC UK:HSBA +1.21% HBC +1.53% HK:5 +0.76% rose 1.5%, shaking off news that the New York Attorney General is suing the bank for violating foreclosure laws
Shares of Barclays PLC UK:BARC +0.57% BCS +2.03% gained 1.5%, Lloyds Banking Group PLC UK:LLOY +0.60% LYG +2.41% put on 1.1% and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC UK:RBS +0.44% RBS +1.37% added 1%.
Investors in the U.K. also digested fresh data on the construction sector. The Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.8 in May from 49.4 in April, marking the highest reading since October 2012. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
“While the latest survey provides some hope that rising construction output will support UK GDP in the second quarter, the sector remains unlikely to contribute positively to labor market conditions,” said Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, in the release.
“May data indicated stagnant employment levels at construction firms, with survey respondents noting that cautious job-hiring polices persisted across the sector in spite of a slight improvement in output volumes.”
Among other movers in London, shares of Glencore Xstrata PLC UK:GLEN +0.28% GLCNF +2.26% picked up 0.8%, after the miner received approval to expand a zinc-and-lead mine in northern Australia.
Other mining firms were also higher, largely ignoring a decline in most metals prices
Randgold Resources Ltd. UK:RRS +0.77% added 1.3%, Fresnillo PLC UK:FRES -0.09% gained 0.8% and heavyweight Rio Tinto PLC UK:RIO +0.47% RIO +3.63% AU:RIO +2.47% picked up 0.8%.