FTSE up for 7th session, economy confidence holds

* FTSE up 0.2 percent, hits 4-month closing high, trade thin

* Positive economic sentiment lifts oils, banks

* Index breaks through key technical level

By Simon Falush

LONDON, Sept 6 (BestGrowthStock) – Firmer banks and energy stocks,
lifted by an improved outlook for the global economy, fuelled
slight gains on Britain’s top share index, pushing it to its
highest close in over four months on Monday.

The FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) ended 11.04 points, or 0.2 percent
higher, at 5,439.19, up for a seventh consecutive day after it
gained 1.1 percent on Friday, supported by non-farm payrolls
data in the United States that was not as bad as expected.

The index closed at its highest since April 30, though it is
still down 6.6 percent since mid-April when fears exploded over
the state of Europe’s sovereign debt.

Non-farm payrolls data on Friday showed that job losses in
the United States were much lower than forecast, giving a
sustained bounce to the global equities market.

But some investors were cautious after a sustained run-up in
stocks, with the overall macro-economic picture being far from
bright.

“People got so negative that the U.S. data was a relief, but
non-manufacturing PMI data was negative…and I am now a bit
more concerned on equities,” said Steven Bell, director at hedge
fund GLC.

Oil and gas producers (.FTNMX0530: ) led sector gainers,
rising around 0.6 percent, with heavyweight BP (BP.L: ) up 1.2
percent after a Morgan Stanley note suggested up to 50 percent
upside potential for the stock, following the oil spill
sell-off.

A Financial Times report that BP had revived the potential
sale of its Alaskan assets was also supporting the stock.

Banks (.FTNMX8350: ), whose performance tends to be driven by
shifts in risk appetite, also rose on the continued positive
sentiment, up 0.5 percent, led by a 1.3 percent gain in HSBC
(HSBA.L: ).

TECH WATCH

The index broke through the key 61.8 percent Fibonacci
retracement of the April peak to July low, although volumes were
very thin with the United States closed for its Labor Day public
holiday. Trading was at just 42 percent of the 90-day average.

“We’ve broken through there [the retracement level] now and
have found some support … which is helping to spur investors
to build on their positions as well,” said Joshua Raymond,
analyst at City Index.

Among individual stocks, Home Retail (HOME.L: ), Britain’s
No.1 household goods retailer, rose 2.6 percent after Seymour
Pierce raised its rating to “hold” from “sell”, ahead of its
second-quarter trading statement on Sept. 9.

On the downside, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: ) fell 1.5 percent
after a European safety body said its Avandia diabetes drug
should be pulled from sale over long-standing concerns it raised
risks of a heart attack among users. [ID:nLDE6850I3]

Smith & Nephew (SN.L: ), Europe’s largest maker of replacement
knees and hips, fell 1.4 percent after JP Morgan downgraded its
growth forecasts for the firm.

ICAP (IAP.L: ) was also among the biggest fallers, with one
trader citing technical resistance levels after some sharp gains
last week.

(Editing by David Cowell)

FTSE up for 7th session, economy confidence holds