Blockbuster US jobs figures gave world markets something to cheer and ensured a third day of solid rises for the FTSE 100.
The index climbed 48.84 points to 6,865.21,as the US released its closely-followed non-farm payrolls figures ahead of the 4 July holiday and the latest purchasing managers’ survey at home confirmed the recovery was keeping pace.
Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG, said: “The non-farms number smashed expectations, allaying all concerns about the US economy in the second quarter, while a drop back in the unemployment rate was a further positive sign. The economic foundations of the rally remain in place, so now the focus will turn to earnings season and any additional merger activity.”
With further positive data also coming from China, the miners were in demand again.
Anglo American was 40p higher at 1,525p while Antofagasta, which also benefited from an announcement of cost savings at some of its Chilean operations, set the pace with a rise of 38.5p to 820p.
Sports Direct was the biggest blue chip riser as investors put behind them the saga of Mike Ashley’s controversial bonus scheme. Its shares were up more than 5.5 per cent, climbing 41p to 769p as shareholders considered that to claim his prize the company’s founder must find a way to more than double profits within five years.
On the downside oil stocks slid back as crude prices hit two-week lows, with Royal Dutch Shell “A” shares down 26p at 2,404p and BP slipping 2,9p to 516.9p.
In the FTSE 250 Index, Poundland was 4 per cent higher after issuing better-than-expected full-year results. Shares, which have fallen since the company’s stock market flotation earlier this year, surged by 13.2p to 341.9p as it set out plans for 60 new outlets this year.