Miners, banks push FTSE back above 5,000 level

By Simon Falush

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index bounced back above the 5,000 point level on Wednesday, as investors hunted for bargains among banks and miners which had been hammered by concerns surrounding the euro zone debt crisis.

By 1105 GMT the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was 102.05 points, or 2.1 percent higher at 5,042.73, having ended down 2.5 percent on Tuesday, its lowest close since September.

Miners were the biggest support to the blue-chip index, gaining in tandem with firmer metal prices as investor pessimism about the demand outlook abated.

Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ), Xstrata (XTA.L: ), Lonmin (LMI.L: ), Anglo American (AAL.L: ), Kazakhmys (KAZ.L: ) and BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ) added 4.1-6 percent.

But sentiment on such growth-dependent stocks remained fragile with the blue chip index still down nearly 14 percent since mid-April.

Worsening financing conditions in the euro zone, tightening U.S. banking regulation, and mounting antagonism between North and South Korea have all kept investors on edge this week.

Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of research at Charles Stanley, said technical levels were being closely watched for clues as to whether gains are sustainable.

“There’s an area of resistance at around 5,033-5,070. If we don’t break through that and stay above it, the bear trend may be reinforced,” he said. “There’s enough uncertainty around to augur against a rebound, so it looks like a dead cat bounce.”

The index fell as low as 4,898 on Tuesday and if it slips below 4,927 again, the next significant support is at the 4,647 level with the 4,500 level last seen in July 2009 a realistic proposition, said Gerry Celaya, chief strategist at Red Tower Research.

BANKS FIRMER

Banks, among those that have been hardest hit by fears over the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone, were also firmer.

Barclays (BARC.L: ), HSBC (HSBA.L: ), Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: ) gained 0.8-5.2 percent.

Energy firms were higher as crude recovered toward $70 barrel. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ), Tullow Oil (TLW.L: ) and BG Group (BG.L: ) added 0.7 to 3 percent.

But BP (BP.L: ) fell 0.7 percent bringing its losses for the month to over 16 percent as investors fretted over whether its attempts to clog the gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well will be successful.

Results from Burberry (BRBY.L: ) and Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWP.L: ) helped lift investors’ shaky confidence.

Burberry added 6 percent after the luxury goods group beat forecasts with a 23 percent rise in annual profit and said it was stepping up its expansion despite a tough economic backdrop.

C&W Worldwide gained 2.8 percent after posting full-year results in line with forecasts. It also said it was confident it would meet expectations for cash and earnings generation as conditions improve.

Ex-dividend factors took 1.18 points off the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday, with Next (NXT.L: ), International Power (IPR.L: ), AMEC (AMEC.L: ), and Cobham (COB.L: ) all losing their dividend attractions.

National Grid (NGG.L: ) was the top FTSE 100 faller, down 2 percent as it traded ex-rights, with the power distributor having launched a surprise $4.6 billion cash call last week.

Stock Market Money

(Editing by Mike Nesbit)

Miners, banks push FTSE back above 5,000 level