Miners, banks help FTSE snap 3-day losing streak

* FTSE 100 up 0.1 percent

* Miner rally as China tightening fears ease

* Energy stocks hit by BP oil spill

By David Brett

LONDON, May 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top shares broke a
three-day losing streak on Monday as miners spurred by upbeat
comments from China, outpaced falls in oils led by BP (BP.L: ) as
concerns lingered over the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

The FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) ended 6.68 points or 0.1 percent higher
at 5,026.44, in choppy trade. The index is down more than 13
percent since fears escalated about the euro zone sovereign debt
crisis in mid-April, after a 22 percent gain in 2009, and fell
below 5,000 on Friday for the first time since November.

“The upside continues to remain constrained by fears of
further problems in the euro zone,” Michael Hewson, analyst at
CMC Markets said.

“While the down side remains supported by hopes that China
may delay implementing further brakes on its economic growth …
and a number of key technical level support levels.”

Miners were the top performers boosted by comments by a
state planning official that China should be particularly
cautious in introducing new tightening measures. [ID:nTOE64N01H]

Anglo American (AAL.L: ) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) added 1.7 and
1.6 percent respectively

Randgold Resources (RRS.L: ) rose 1.5 percent, along with gold
(XAU=: ), which gained as lower prices tempted buyers back to the
market amid concerns over the fiscal health of the euro zone.

Banks, which have taken a beating while the euro zone
tackles its debt crisis, rallied after data showed sales of
previously owned homes in the United States rose more than
expected in April to a five-month high, which led Wall Street
stocks to pare losses.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ), Barclays (BARC.L: ), HSBC
(HSBA.L: ), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) and Standard Chartered
(STAN.L: ) rose 0.2-1.2 percent.

Sector gains were tempered after the Spanish government on
Saturday took over the running of savings bank CajaSur after its
planned merger with another of the country’s small lenders
failed.

DEFENSIVE SUPPORT

Perceived defensive firms featured highly on the gainers
list, as investors looked for shelter as euro zone debt problems
hung in the background.

Imperial Tobacco (IMT.L: ), supermarket group Sainsbury
(SBRY.L: ) and consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L: )
climbed 1.5-2.1 percent.

On the downside, energy stocks retreated as an oil spill in
the Gulf of Mexico soured sentiment towards the sector.

BP, down 2.7 percent, has pledged $500 million to an open
research program studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon
incident that threatens an ecological disaster.

Shares in BP have fallen more than 15 percent in May, on
track for its biggest monthly loss since 1992.

Peer Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) fell 1.5 percent.

British finance minister George Osborne and Treasury
minister David Laws outlined plans to cut 6.25 billion pounds of
government spending on Monday.

This pressured shares in Capita (CPI.L: ) and Serco Group
(SRP.L: ), off 2.4 and 0.4 percent respectively as investors
worried about the UK government renegotiating terms of
government contracts.

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Latest wrapup on the euro zone debt crisis: [ID:nLDE64N05B]
Graphic on the euro zone debt: http://link.reuters.com/fyw72j
For related news stories: [ID:nLDE64I0RB]
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Investing Advice

(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

Miners, banks help FTSE snap 3-day losing streak