Commodities give FTSE a boost

By Joanne Frearson

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s leading share index rose on Thursday, led by commodity stocks on global recovery hopes, while TUI Travel (TT.L: ) jumped after results came in at the top end of market forecasts.

By 0917 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index was 36.57 points or 0.7 percent higher at 5,680.05, rising for the second consecutive session after ending November back down at levels not seen since mid-September.

“Strong performance after the rally in U.S. yesterday. A little bit of confidence is coming back in on the economies and the first ones to move again are the commodities,” Mark Priest, senior equities trader at ETX Capital, said.

Commodity stocks extended their rise from the previous session supported by stronger metal and crude prices as Wednesday’s upbeat manufacturing data out of China, Europe and U.S. fueled confidence in the global recovery.

Oil groups BG Group (BG.L: ), BP (BP.L: ) and Petrofac (PFC.L: ) were 1 to 1.1 percent higher, while miners Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ), Anglo American (AAL.L: ) and BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ) gained 0.9 to 2.5 percent.

African Barrick Gold (ABGL.L: ) rose 1.8 percent. The miner said it found more gold at its North Mara mine in Tanzania and also said it aimed to build an underground operation beneath existing open pits.

Europe’s biggest travel firm TUI Travel (TT.L: ) rose 5.1 percent after full-year operating profit came in at the top end of expectations.

ROLLS-ROYCE SLIPS

On the downside, Rolls-Royce (RR.L: ) was one of the worst performers, down 1.3 percent. Qantas Airway (QAN.AX: ) has filed a statement of claim in an Australian court to ensure it can pursue legal action against engine maker.

Drugmakers were also lower, with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: ) down 0.7 percent. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve the drugmakers prostate drug Avodart late on Wednesday.

Later in the session, investors will watch the European Central Bank interest rate meeting at 1245 GMT, with the main focus being President Jean-Claude Trichet’s news conference, due at 1330 GMT.

Investors hope the ECB will expand its government bond purchase program to help the euro zone contain a crippling debt crisis.

Investors will also focus on the Market/CIPS British construction PMI report for November [ID:nLAK002712], while U.S. weekly jobless claims is at 1330 GMT and October U.S. pending home sales is data due at 1500 GMT.

(Editing by Jane Merriman)

Commodities give FTSE a boost