Banks and oils lift FTSE; trading volume slumps

* FTSE up 0.1 pct; volume 1.1 pct of 90-day moving average

* Banks gain after recent weakness

* Miners look to end year on high, up 30 pct in 2010

By David Brett

LONDON, Dec 31 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index rose in
early trade on Friday, lifted by rebounding oil stocks and
banks, while miners built on this year’s solid gains.

By 0826 GMT, the FTSE 100 index (.FTSE: ) was up 8.02 points,
or 0.1 percent, at 5,979.03, having shed 0.4 percent in the
previous session on top of losing 0.2 percent on Wednesday, as
the index ebbed away from the 6,000 level.

Trading volume was 1.1 percent of the 90-day moving average.

“There is very little happening with investors happy to sit
on what they have,” Jimmy Yates, head of equities at CMC
Markets, said.

“Once traders return to their desks next week, we’ll start
to see if the fall over the last couple of days is a sign of
meaningful retracement or if there is a desire to push ahead.”

Banks (.FTNMX8350: ), which have been anchored by worries over
euro zone debt exposure in 2010 — gaining just over 1 percent
in the year — were slightly higher, with Barclays (BARC.L: ) up
0.9 percent.

Integrated oils also enjoyed a minor rally, having fallen on
Thursday along with the crude price (CLc1: ), which slipped below
$91 a barrel. Oil major BP (BP.L: ) added 0.2 percent.

Oil was set to close the year up more than 12 percent and
average nearly $80 a barrel — the second-highest on record —
driven by a resurgence in global demand, a harsh winter in the
northern hemisphere and falling inventories.

The energy sector (.FTNMX0530: ) has gained 1.8 percent this
year, a respectable performance after sentiment was hit during
BP’s major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Miners were a prop for London’s blue-chip index. The sector
has risen 30 percent in 2010, substantially outperforming the
FTSE’s 10.4 percent gain.

This surge has been driven by demand from China for raw
materials, which has pushed the price of metals such as copper,
gold and silver, to record levels.

Mexican silver miner Fresnillo (FRES.L: ) was up 0.5 percent.

In the UK, macroeconomic data further underlined the choppy
nature of Britain’s recovery from recession as house prices rose
in December for the first time since May.

The FTSE 100 is up 8.1 percent this month, the strongest
December performance since 1987 when it rose 8.5 percent.

The blue-chip index has gained 25 percent since it touched a
low for the year at the start of July.

(Editing by David Hulmes)

Banks and oils lift FTSE; trading volume slumps