Britain’s top share index leapt 1.7 per cent as traders hoped for a breakthrough at an emergency EU summit in Brussels to keep Greece within the eurozone.
The benchmark FTSE 100 closed up 115.22 points at 6,825.67 as expectations grew that a deal might finally be thrashed out between the country and its creditors, after Athens submitted fresh proposals to try and avoid defaulting on its debts.
Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “It’s been a case of all eyes on Greek bailout talks today and although there has been no agreement, the mood between Athens and its international creditors has evidently remained sufficiently cordial to keep the market believing that a deal will be struck.”
Sky was a strong riser in the top flight after weekend reports that Rupert Murdoch and his family rejected two bids for their stake in the broadcaster, stoking speculation that they intend to make a new attempt to take full control of the company. Shares lifted almost 4 per cent, or 36p, to 1,074p.
Severn Trent led the top flight leaderboard, also up on bid talk that Canadian investment company Borealis Infrastructure is considering a £5 billion offer for the water firm two years after it rejected a previous approach. Shares in Severn Trent lifted almost 6 per cent, or 121p, to 2,176p.
Cruise ship operator Carnival was also a strong riser after Deutsche Bank upgraded it to “buy” from “hold”, sending shares up almost 4 per cent, 120p to 3,288p. The bank says it expects the second-quarter results from the cruise operator to be above the upper end of the company’s guidance.
Randgold Resources was the strongest faller on the top flight 85p lower at 4,413p, because confidence that Greece may pull through its latest round of debt woes will stem the current rally for gold as a safe haven. Silver miner Fresnillo fell 9p to 703.5p.