The London market jumped more than 1 per cent as the absence of negative news on Syria over the weekend allowed traders to concentrate on the improving economic picture
Better-than-expected Chinese survey data gave London’s miner’s a boost and pushed the FTSE 100 Index 93.26 points higher, a gain of 1.5 per cent, to 6,506.19. The UK’s own improving manufacturing figures also helped sentiment.
Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG, said: “Being a hotspot for all things commodity-related, it was not surprising to see investors take the modest improvement in Chinese figures and use it to lift mining stocks.”
Improving sentiment towards equities and Asian markets in particular helped Aberdeen Asset Management, which topped the risers’ board with a gain of 4.5 per cent, to 368p.
Among the miners, Rio Tinto added 4.2 per cent to 3,035p, while Anglo American was up 3.9 per cent at 1,536p. But Fresnillo was among the fallers, down 28p at 1,275p as it was on the receiving end of a broker downgrade. UBS moved to “neutral” on the stock following recent gains.
Vodafone’s $130 billion (£84bn) sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless, confirmed after the market closed, gave a lift to the entire telecoms sector as analysts said it could lead to further corporate activity. Vodafone’s shares, which had already made handsome gains at the end of last week when rumours of the deal emerged, closed a further 6.95p or 3.2 per cent higher, at 213.2p.
Rival BT Group gained 4 per cent, up 12.9p at 338.2p, as it was also helped by positive broker comment from Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs.
Oil company stocks, which had been boosted by the prospect of higher prices amid a fresh Middle East conflagration, fell back, with BP off 0.65p to 445.6p and Royal Dutch Shell shedding 8p to 2,165p.
Outsourcing firms G4S and Serco, which have been under pressure over alleged mishandling of UK government contracts, also failed to take advantage of the rally. G4S edged up just 0.9p to 260.9p and Serco was flat at 547.5p.
US markets were closed for the labour day national holiday.