FTSE firmer as miners gain, Aviva up on bid report

* FTSE 100 up 0.5 percent, but seen range-bound

* Commodity prices, data lift energy stocks

* Aviva jumps after report of RSA approach

By Simon Falush

LONDON, Aug 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index rose in
early trade on Friday, lifted by stronger mining stocks that
were helped by firm growth data from France and Germany and a
recovery in metal prices.

The FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was 24.07 points higher at 5,290.13 by
0805 GMT, after rising 0.4 percent on Thursday.

German gross domestic product grew 2.2 percent in the second
quarter when French GDP growth also exceeded forecasts, while a
weaker dollar (.DXY: ) lifted metal prices. [ID:nLDE67C0AI]

Anglo American (AAL.L: ) and BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ) were among
the strongest miners, up 1.6 percent and 2 percent respectively.

But, as is typical in August, trade was thin and market
participants saw little prospect of significant moves from
current levels until the end of the holiday period.

“We are range-bound between 5,200 and 5,500 and there is not
likely to be a break out until trading is back to normal in
September,” said Tim Whitehead, investment manager at
Redmayne-Bentley.

Technical indicators for the FTSE 100 index remained
bearsish, according to Raghee Horner, chief market analyst at
Autochartist. The index needs to rally past 5,320 before the
intraday trend will be shifted higher, he said.

Banks, whose share prices tend to track investor appetite
for risk were mostly firmer.

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: ) was up 1.8 percent, while
Barclays (BARC.L: ) added 1.9 percent and RBS (RBS.L: ) was up 2.0
percent. However, internationally focused heavyweight HSBC
(HSBA.L: ) fell 0.9 percent and Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ) fell
0.4 percent.

AVIVA ACTION

Aviva (AV.L: ) was the star British blue-chip performer among
financials, jumping 4.5 percent after a report on Sky News that
the insurer has rebuffed a 5 billion pound bid from RSA
Insurance Group (RSA.L: ). RSA was the top faller, off 2 percent.

Tui Travel (TT.L: ) topped the list of FTSE 100 risers, up 6.2
percent after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy” from
“neutral” on valuation grounds. Mid-cap peer Thomas Cook Group
(TCG.L: ), also upgraded by the broker, added 3.4 percent.

Among fallers, BAE Systems (BAES.L: ) lost 1.1 percent after
UBS downgraded its rating to “neutral” from “buy” and cut its
price target citing market doubts about defence spending.

U.S. inflation numbers will be the main focus in the
afternoon, with a 0.3 percent monthly increase forecast for July
CPI, after a 0.1 percent fall in June, giving an annual rise of
1.2 percent, up from 1.1 percent.

July U.S. retail sales numbers will also be released at 1230
GMT, while the first reading of the Reuters/University of
Michigan consumer sentiment index for August will be released at
1355 GMT.
(Editing by Dan Lalor)

FTSE firmer as miners gain, Aviva up on bid report