European Stocks Are Little Changed Before Yellen Speech


European stocks were little changed, with the benchmark index heading for the biggest weekly gain in six months, as investors awaited a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for clues about the interest-rate outlook. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares rose.

London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) declined 0.9 percent after announcing a rights offering. Marine Harvest ASA rose for a fifth day after Norway said it will allow fish farms to delay harvest to limit the impact of a Russian import ban.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped less than 0.1 percent to 337.28 at 8:15 a.m. in London. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added less than 0.1 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent.

The Stoxx 600 has rallied 2.3 percent this week as tensions in Ukraine eased and investors bet that a slowdown in euro-area manufacturing and services growth will increase pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to support the recovery.

Yellen will speak on labor-market issues at the Fed Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The talk, due at 8 a.m. Mountain Time, may yield clues about the timing of an increase in U.S. interest rates, after data from housing to manufacturing yesterday indicating the U.S. economy is continuing to strengthen.

LSE fell 0.9 percent to 1,988 pence. The exchange operator seeks to raise 938 million pounds ($1.56 billion) in a rights offering to fund part of the $2.7 billion purchase of Frank Russell Co., which it announced in June. LSE also said that adjusted profit climbed 18 percent to 31.9 pence a share in the three months through June 30.

Marine Harvest advanced 1 percent to 84.35 kroner. Norway, the biggest salmon producer, said it will allow fish farmers to hold more stock and delay harvesting to limit the impact of a Russian import ban shutting out close to 10 percent of the Nordic country’s salmon output.

Lonmin Plc climbed 4 percent to 221.5 pence. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised the platinum producer to “conviction buy” from neutral, saying that concerns over the company’s balance sheet are overdone.


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