Commodites power FTSE gains; results support

* FTSE 100 index gains 0.8 pct

* Miners, energy up as commodity prices rise

* Results from Sainsbury, BT Group, Old Mutual support

By Simon Falush

LONDON, May 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Strength from commodity stocks
powered gains in Britain’s top share index early on Thursday, as
austerity measures promised by Spain and Portugal eased investor
anxiety and brightened the demand outlook for raw materials.

Solid results from supermarket group Sainsbury (SBRY.L: ) and
telecoms provider BT Group (BT.L: ) also supported a view that the
corporate climate is improving.

By 0806 GMT the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was up 45.41 points, or 0.8
percent at 5,428.86 after it gained 49.24 points, or 0.9 percent
on Wednesday, supported by relief at the formation of a new
British government as well as euro zone debt crisis relief.

Miners provided a large chunk of the gains on Thursday, as
metal prices firmed, with investor nerves settled by measures
from Spain and Portugal to trim their budget deficit, offering
some reassurance the euro zone is addressing deep-rooted fiscal
problems. [ID:nLDE64B0SK]

Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ), Xstrata (XTA.L: ), Lonmin (LMI.L: ), Anglo
American (AAL.L: ), Kazakhmys (KAZ.L: ) and BHP Billiton (BLT.L: )
added 1.1 to 2.4 percent.

“There’s confidence back in (Spain and Portugal), and people
are back buying again,” said Alwyn Phillips, senior sales trader
at IG Index, though he noted that volumes were thin and
investors were still nervous after sharp falls last week.

BT Group was the top gainer, up 6.7 percent after it
full-year results beat market expectations with a 2 percent
decline in revenues, and forecast a return to growth in 2012/13.

SAINSBURY STRONG

Sainsbury was also a stand-out gainer, up 4.2 percent after
Britain’s No.3 grocer beat forecasts with an 18 percent rise in
full-year profit as it gained customers with new stores and
non-food ranges, and said it could cope with a tough economic
backdrop.

Also benefiting from strong results, private equity group 3i
group (III.L: ) added 6.8 percent after the value of its portfolio
rose 15 percent last year, while insurer Old Mutual (OML.L: )
added 2.9 percent after it met forecasts with a 29 percent rise
in first quarter sales.

But the more upbeat global backdrop was the main driver of
the FTSE’s gains, with energy firms BG Group (BG.L: ), BP (BP.L: ),
Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) and Tullow Oil (TLW.L: ) adding 0.2 to
0.9 percent with crude (CLc1: ) holding above $75 per barrel.

Shire (SHP.L: ) was at the top of a relatively short list of
fallers, down 1.5 percent after JP Morgan downgraded its rating
on the drugmaker to “neutral” from “overweight” on valuation
grounds, saying scope for outperformance is now limited.

British consumer morale perked up in April but recovered
only a fraction of the previous month’s drop as worries about an
impending fiscal squeeze reduced households’ optimism about the
next six months.

The Nationwide Building Society said its seasonally-adjusted
consumer confidence index rose to 74 last month from 73 in
March. However that was still the second-lowest reading since
December and well below February’s two-year high of 82.
[ID:nLAG006281]

The other domestic data focus on Thursday will be on March
UK trade figures, due at 0830 GMT, with a global deficit of 6.41
billion pounds estimated, up from a 6.179 billion pounds gap in
February, and a non-EU trade gap of 3.35 billion pounds, seen,
up from a 3.329 billion pounds deficit in February.

Across the Atlantic, the latest weekly U.S. jobless claims
will be a focus, due at 12.30 GMT, the same time as April U.S.
import and export prices.

Investment Analysis
(Editing by Hans Peters)

Commodites power FTSE gains; results support