When the U.S. economy fell down back in 2008, the U.K., our friendly neighbor across the pond, came tumbling after. It's been a long climb out of the financial hole, but things may be turning around for the British Isle. At least according to its Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Citing a report from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the Treasury's official watchdog, Osborne is confident that the U.K. is back on track, thanks to the government efforts to rescue the country from financial peril while simultaneously balancing the books. Sure, it's his job to spout the party line, but he also has the numbers to back up his claims.

The OBR raised its June U.K. growth projections for 2010 from 1.2% to 1.8%, expecting annual growth to top 2% over the next five years. The watchdog also predicts fewer public sector job cuts than initially forecasted, and a 1 million-strong employment rise between now and 2015.

But not everyone shares Osborne's optimism. David Kern, chief economist for the British Chamber of Commerce, believes the figures may be a bit too ambitious to realize; and Howard Archer, Chief U.K. and European Economist at IHS Global Insight, thinks the OBR's stats may "tweak" the real story.

Do you have a good feeling about the U.K.'s financial future, or are you siding with the skeptics? You could just go with your gut -- but a better strategy might be to check in on the trades of others.

We're wondering, which U.K. stocks have the most bullish options market sentiment? Options traders bid on the right to buy (call in) or sell (put) an asset at a specified price within a specific time period. If a stock has a large number of call options relative to put options, it's taken to indicate generally bullish sentiment in the options market. (Click here to access free interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

Of course, you'll still have to do your homework -- but this may at least give you a good starting point.

Here's a list of six U.K. stocks seeing bullish options sentiment. Options data sourced from Schaeffer's. The list has been sorted by the put/call ratio.

Company

Industry

Call Options Open Interest (No.  Contracts)

Put Options Open Interest (No.  Contracts)

Put/Call Ratio

British American Tobacco (NYSE: BTI)

Cigarettes

426

118

0.28

Acergy  (Nasdaq: ACGY)

Oil & Gas Equipment & Services

171

66

0.39

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN)

Drug Manufacturer

16,612

7,999

0.48

Unilever (NYSE: UL)

Food-Major Diversified

1,098

579

0.53

Diageo (NYSE: DEO)

Beverages-Wineries & Distillers

9,206

5,480

0.60

Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company (NYSE: WSH)

Insurance Brokers

220

141

0.64

Interactive Chart: Press Play to see how the market caps for all these companies have changed over the last two years.


Kapitall's Eben Esterhuizen and Alicia Sellitti do not own shares of any companies mentioned.

Unilever is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Diageo and Unilever are Motley Fool Income Investor selections. The Fool owns shares of Diageo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.