THURSDAY MARKET CLOSE: City takes a good spin on euro woes

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A shock contraction in the German economy failed to dampen the recovery on the London market.

The FTSE 100 Index added 28.58 points at 6,685.26, as traders betted that the European Central Bank (ECB) will ratchet up the stimulus measures should the decline set in.

Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC, said: “While clearly not a good sign for the European economy, the drop in growth could be a good thing for European shares if persistent low growth and inflation lead to Mario Draghi at the ECB to put into action the bank’s ‘willingness’ to deploy additional extraordinary measures including purchases of asset backed securities or even government bonds.”

Oil contractor Petrofac led the way, up more than 3 per cent at 1,114p as investors warmed to a Malaysian refinery deal it announced on Wednesday.

Property firms Land Securities and British Land were also buoyant with a broker upgrade on the latter adding confidence to the sector. British Land was 17.5p higher at 724.5p, and rival Land Securities climbed 24p to 1,090p.

There was no bounce for motor insurer Admiral, which propped up the FTSE 100 for the second day in a row following interim results in which it admitted that premiums were showing few signs of accelerating. After crashing more than 5 per cent on Wednesday, the shares slipped a further 3 per cent to 1,330p.

Outside the top flight, shares in Balfour Beatty and Carillion were both higher as the two sides continued to clash over a £3 billion merger plan.

As Carillion spelled out the cost savings on offer and released its own interim numbers, its shares leapt more than 8 per cent, up 26.8p at 346.8p. Balfour was also higher on the prospect of a sweetened merger, up 3.6p at 240.1p.