FTSE gains, led by miners; results support

* FTSE 100 index up 0.7 percent

* Miners rise as metals prices firm

* Results from BT Group, 3i Group, Sainsbury support

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, May 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index rose on
Thursday, led by mining stocks aided by firmer metals prices,
and with investors encouraged by a batch of strong company
results.

At 1131 GMT, FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was up 39.49 points, or 0.7
percent, at 5,422.94. The blue chip index has gained 5.8 percent
so far this week, after last week’s 7.7 percent fall.

“It’s a pretty quiet morning … To put it in some kind of
context, we are obviously coming off the back of a tumultuous
week both in terms of domestic politics and international
events,” said Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank.

“This is probably the first occasion we have had over the
past week and a half to take stock and have a day where we can
have a pause,” he said.

Miners added the most points to the blue-chip index as
investor appetite for risk increased, with Eurasian Natural
Resources (ENRC.L: ), Fresnillo (FRES.L: ) and BHP Billiton (BLT.L: )
the best off, adding 2.3-3.6 percent.

Investors were relieved by measures from Portugal and Spain
to trim their budget deficits, offering reassurance the euro
zone was addressing deep-rooted fiscal problems. [ID:nLDE64B0SK]

BT Group (BT.L: ) grabbed the top spot on the FTSE 100
leaderboard, jumping 9.7 percent after full-year results beat
market expectations with a 2 percent decline in revenues, and it
forecast a return to growth in 2012-13. [ID:nLDE64523R]

Sticking with results, private equity group 3i Group (III.L: )
was another good gainer, up 7.7 percent after the value of its
portfolio rose 15 percent last year, while insurer Old Mutual
(OML.L: ) added 2.9 percent after meeting forecasts with a 29
percent rise in first quarter sales.

And Sainsbury (SBRY.L: ) put on 3.3 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.

BANKS WEAKEN

Banks were out of favour on a read-across from French lender
Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA: ) which missed first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)
forecasts, and as investors turned their attention to the plans
of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government.

Barclays (BARC.L: ), HSBC (HSBA.L: ), Lloyds Banking Group
(LLOY.L: ) and Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ) dropped 0.5-1.2
percent.

Cameron was holding his first cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Reducing Britain’s record budget deficit of over 11 percent
of national output will be the first test of the relationship
between the centre-right Conservatives and smaller centrist
Liberal Democrats. [ID:nLDE64C090]

Among individual fallers, Shire (SHP.L: ) slipped 1.2 percent
after JP Morgan downgraded its rating on the drugmaker to
‘neutral’ from ‘overweight’ on valuation grounds, saying scope
for outperformance was now limited.

Weighing on investor sentiment, Britain’s goods trade
deficit with the rest of the world widened more than expected in
March after imports grew more than five times faster than
exports, data showed. [ID:nLDE64C0J7]

Across the Atlantic, the latest weekly U.S. jobless claims
will be a focus at 1230 GMT, the same time as April U.S. import
and export prices.

Stock Market

(Editing by Dan Lalor)

FTSE gains, led by miners; results support