FTSE firms as corporate results lift confidence

* FTSE 100 up 0.4 percent, shrugs off weak retail data

* Miners push higher as global recovery hopes intact

* Food, travel firms lifted by Europe, U.S. results

By Simon Falush

LONDON, Oct 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Stronger miners and banks lifted
Britain’s top shares on Thursday, supported by strong U.S. and
European earnings, with British Airways (BAY.L: ) a big
beneficiary of solid results from U.S. peers.

By 0911 GMT the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was 0.4 percent higher at
5,751.44 after rising 0.4 percent on Wednesday.

Miners delivered the biggest lift to the index, supported as
metal prices held near recent highs and as strong corporate
earnings and solid data from China supported confidence the
global economic recovery was sustainable.
Anglo American (AAL.L: ) led the way, up 1.9 percent after
releasing third-quarter earnings while Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) added
1.7 perecnt.

“Attention has shifted away from the focus on an interest
rate rise in China to strength in corporate earnings in the U.S.
where around three-quarters of results have exceeded
expectations,” said Richard Hunter, head of equities at
Hargreaves Lansdown.

Confidence on the sustainability of the global recovery and
thus the demand outlook for metals was shored up as China said
its economic growth slowed in the third quarter but was a touch
stronger than expected. [ID:nTOE69K00X]

China sent equity markets lower markets on Tuesday when it
announced the first hike in its core interest rate since 2007.

UK equities shrugged off data which showed a British economy
struggling to recover strongly from an 18-month recession.

British retail sales unexpectedly fell for a second month in
a row in September, driven lower by weak clothing and fuel
sales, official data showed.

Lending to UK firms rose in August for the first time since
February but remained 5.4 percent lower than the same month a
year ago, Bank of England figures showed.

British Airways (BAY.L: ) was the top gainer, up 3.9 percent,
buoyed by strength from its U.S. peers. Delta Air Lines (DAL.N: ),
US Airways Group Inc (LCC.N: ) and American Airlines parent AMR
Corp (AMR.N: ) all posted strong results.

TRAVEL GAINS

Elsewhere in the travel sector, TUI Travel (TT.L: ) was the
sharpest faller, down 7.1 percent after it restated its 2009
results and said its finance chief will go after stumbling
across 117 million pounds ($185 million) owed by customers that
will now have to be written off.

But overall there was confidence on the sector, with
InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L: ) up 3.2 percent after French peer
Accor (ACCP.PA: ) raised its 2010 profit goal on Wednesday and
posted third-quarter sales slightly above forecasts.

Food producer Unilever (ULVR.L: ) and household products firm
Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L: ) and Associated British Foods (ABF.L: )
were also beneficiaries of strength from European results after
French food group Danone posted a forecast-beating 15 percent
rise in third-quarter sales.

Banks also gained with HSBC (HSBA.L: ) and Lloyds Banking
Group up 1.6 and 0.3 percent respectively.

Tullow Oil (TLW.L: ) was off 3.2 percent after it said an
offshore well in Ghana failed to find oil, prompting Oriel to
downgrade the British-based explorer to “reduce” from “hold”.
(Editing by Michael Shields)

FTSE firms as corporate results lift confidence