Strong miners, banks drive FTSE gains; BP falls

* FTSE 100 up 0.7 pct

* Miners firm with metals prices

* BP falls as worries grow on leaky cap

* Intl Power top riser; in fresh tie-up talks with GDF Suez

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, July 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Strong miners and banks helped
haul Britain’s top shares higher on Monday, as investors
recovered their risk appetite on hopes for second-quarter
earnings, while embattled oil giant BP (BP.L: ) fell.

By 1111 GMT, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was up 36.39 points, or
0.7 percent, at 5,195.24. It fell 1 percent on Friday.

Banks were in demand, bouncing back after a decline earlier
in the session, with Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ) and HSBC
(HSBA.L: ) the best performers, putting on 2.5 percent and 1.3
percent respectively.

Wall Street was set for a bounce on Monday, following a
sharp fall in the previous session, with technology firms IBM
(IBM.N: ) and Texas Instruments (TXN.N: ) due to report later on
Monday.

“I think Friday’s session on Wall Street was overdone, and I
think the FTSE’s response today suggests that it was and if
anything it’s setting its sights on the earnings results that
are going to be reported this week,” said Mike Lenhoff, chief
strategist at Brewin Dolphin.

Risk sensitive miners were also in favour, rebounding after
falls the previous week, against a backdrop of firmer metals
prices.

Xstrata (XTA.L: ), Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) and Vedanta Resources
(VED.L: ) all featured on the blue chip leader board, adding 2-2.4
percent.

International Power (IPR.L: ) was the top riser on the index,
up 9.6 percent after the company said it had revived talks on a
possible tie-up with France’s GDF Suez (GSZ.PA: ).

And on the second tier (.FTMC: ), Tomkins (TOMK.L: ) soared
almost 32 percent after the engineering firm said it has
received a bid approach at 325 pence per share from a consortium
of Onex (OCX.TO: ) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

BP KNOCKED

BP was among the top FTSE 100 fallers, shedding 1.9 percent.
Engineers monitoring its damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico
detected seepage on the ocean floor that could mean problems
with the cap that has stopped oil from gushing into the ocean.
[ID:nLDE66I0L9]

“It’s worrying, it’s just what investors didn’t want to see.
There are horrendous possibilities for the company that has
unlimited liabilities,” said David Morrison, market strategist
at GFT Global.

The oil firm has lost about 39 percent in value since the
leak started in April.

A broker downgrade weighed on Associated British Foods
(ABF.L: ), off 2.1 percent, with Evolution Securities cutting its
rating on the Primark fashion stores owner and Silver Spoon
sugar refiner to “neutral” from “buy”.

In a sign that the domestic UK economy is facing stiff
headwinds, asking prices for British homes fell for the first
time this year in July, lowering the annual rate of growth to
3.7 percent from 5.0 percent in June, property website Rightmove
showed on Monday. [ID:nLDE66F0XD]

(Editing by David Cowell)

Strong miners, banks drive FTSE gains; BP falls