Miners, banks drive FTSE to 30-month closing high

* FTSE 100 index gains 1 percent

* Miners firm; copper price rises to record

* Banks gain as euro zone debt worries fade

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, Dec 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Miners and banks drove Britain’s
top share index to a 30-month closing high on Tuesday, as risk
appetite rose due to easing tensions on the Korean peninsula and
upbeat earnings from U.S. software maker Adobe Systems (ADBE.O: ).

The FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index ended up 60.19 points, or 1
percent, at 5,951.80, its highest close since early June 2008,
albeit in thin trade in the run-up to the Christmas holidays.

Miners (.FTNMX1770: ) rose, with Anglo American (AAL.L: ) and
Xstrata (XTA.L: ) the best sector performers, up 4.2 percent and
3.5 percent respectively, as copper hit record highs, fuelled by
supply concerns.

Gains in metals prices were also underpinned by import data
showing continued strong demand from top consumer China,
prompting more speculation on the global growth story.

Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) climbed 2.6 percent amid media reports
that it is talking to Australia-listed coal miner Riversdale
(RIV.AX: ) about a higher $3.8 billion takeover, ahead of a
possible bidding war. [ID:nL3E6NK1RK]

Traders said investor nerves were soothed as the situation
on the Korean peninsula failed to escalate. South Korea held
live-fire drills on Yeonpyeong island on Monday, raising fears
of all-out war, but the North did not retaliate.

“It’s an all round risk-on day … the main story is the
diminishing tension on the Korean peninsula,” Michael Hewson,
market analyst at CMC Markets, said.

Integrated oil stocks found favour as the crude price (CLc1: )
rose, supported by cold weather conditions, with Royal Dutch
Shell (RDSa.L: ) climbing 1.6 percent.

BANKS BOUNCE

Banks (.FTNMX8350: ) rebounded after recent weakness caused by
euro zone debt exposure fears. Comments from a Chinese
vice-premier that it supports efforts by the EU to calm global
markets in the wake of the debt crisis helped ease concerns.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) was the top FTSE 100 riser,
up 4.5 percent.

Carnival (CCL.L: ) (CCL.N: ) was another strong gainer, up 3.7
percent, on higher earnings and forecasts from the cruise
operator.

Traders said the general mood was brightened by solid
results from Adobe Systems.

“Adobe’s results are better than expected which is boosting
overall confidence,” Mic Mills, head of electronic trading at
ETX Capital, said.

Positive broker sentiment helped Rolls-Royce (RR.L: ), 2
percent firmer, with Citigroup lifting its rating to “buy”.

Aggreko (AGGK.L: ) was the biggest FTSE 100 faller, off 2.9
percent, after a price target cut by Credit Suisse and as
investors booked profits in the temporary power supplier after a
rise on Monday prompted by a contract win.

BSkyB (BSY.L: ) fell 0.7 percent, reversing direction, after
British Business Secretary Vince Cable said he has “declared
war” on media magnate Rupert Murdoch, raising question marks
over the likelihood of Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O: ) succeeding
in taking full ownership of the pay-TV operator.

(Editing by David Hulmes)

Miners, banks drive FTSE to 30-month closing high