London: UK stocks advanced for a second day as the benchmark FTSE 100 Index closed at its highest level since September 2000.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc rose 4.5% as Numis Securities Ltd. advised buying the shares. EasyJet Plc jumped 4% after Ryanair Holdings Plc posted a 13% increase in full-year profit. Ryanair, Europe’s largest discount airline, soared to a record in Dublin. FirstGroup Plc plunged 30% after omitting a dividend payment and announcing a share sale.

The FTSE 100 added 32.57 points, or 0.5%, to 6,755.63 at the close in London. The gauge climbed 1.5% last week and has surged 15% so far this year, boosted by central-bank stimulus. The broader FTSE All-Share Index gained 0.4% on Monday for a 13th straight advance., its longest since 1987. Ireland’s ISEQ Index increased 1.5% to the highest level since September 2008.

"This is a low-conviction rally and there’s probably going to be a second phase in the rally," Marino Valensise, who oversees about $60 billion as chief investment officer at Baring Asset Management Ltd. in London, told Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg Television. We like the UK because it’s a global market and exposes the portfolio to global emerging markets at a cheap price and through a London listing, which is probably more comfortable for a lot of investors.

UK home sellers raised asking prices for a fifth consecutive month in May, pushing values to a record and giving the market its best start to a year since 2004. Prices sought gained 2.1% to an average £249,841 ($380,000), property-website operator Rightmove said on Monday.

RBS rallies

RBS rose 4.5% to 351.9 pence, the highest in almost three months, as Numis upgraded the stock to buy from hold. Analyst Michael Trippitt said the lender’s US retail and commercial-banking franchise is undervalued.

EasyJet jumped 4% to 1,235 pence, extending this year’s advance to 61%. Aer Lingus Group Plc, which is 30% owned by Ryanair, increased 5.3% to 1.59 euros in Ireland. A gauge of travel and leisure companies in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, the region-wide benchmark, extended its highest level since December 2007.

Ryanair gained 6.9% to 6.77 euros in Dublin, the highest price since the airline’s initial public offering in May 1997. Net income rose to 569 million euros ($731 million) in the 12 months to March 31. Analysts had predicted a profit of 560 million euros, based on the average of 19 estimates.

FirstGroup falls

FirstGroup, the rail company stripped of the West Coast contract last year, plunged 30% to 155.6 pence, its biggest decline since at least 1995 at the lowest price in 13 years. FirstGroup said it won’t pay a final dividend for the year ended March 31 as it seeks to raise £615 million ($935 million) in a rights offering.

Fresnillo Plc, the world’s largest primary silver producer, lost 3.3% to 1,034 pence, the lowest since August 2010 as the metal declined to a 2 1/2-year low. Randgold Resources Ltd., a producer of the precious metal in Africa, dropped 1.3% to 4,696 pence, while Polymetal International Plc lost 2.6% to 617 pence, the lowest price since its 2011 London listing. Bloomberg

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