China and oil help fuel market rise

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BROKER upgrades helped a number of Scottish stocks yesterday as solid economic data from China and the US re-invigorated the wider market and sent Brent crude to a nine-month high.

UBS upped its target price on Weir Group from 2,000p to 2,300p, and with the pumps and valves maker also benefiting from an oil price around $119 a barrel it added 45p or 2 per cent to 2,123p.

Aggreko also powered up 2 per cent after HSBC moved its rating to “neutral” while rumours circulated that Swiss engineering giant ABB could be mulling a bid for the Glasgow-based firm. Its shares gained 31p to 1,588p.

The FTSE 100 Index closed 35.5 points higher at 6,263.9, as banking stocks recovered from the previous day’s loses. David Madden, market analyst at IG, said: “Traders have short memories when it comes to bad news; Thursday’s biggest losers Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays are among the day’s winners.”

Barclays, due to present annual results on Tuesday, was 6.1p higher at 298.6p while RBS added 6.2p to 339.1p. Asian-facing Standard Chartered rose 44p to 1,694p as Chinese data suggested its powerhouse economy was back in rude health.

China’s better-than-expected trade figures also helped the mining sector, with Anglo American up 35.5p to 1972.5p and Eurasian Natural Resources ahead 6.7p to 377.7p .

Meanwhile, defensive stocks were out of favour, with Imperial Tobacco off 47p at 2,300p after Investec downgraded the cigarettes company to “hold”.

Outside the top flight, shares in Stirling-based insulation maker Superglass soared 36 per cent at 10.75p just days after management said it could see no reason for recent rises.

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks climbed last night, pushing the Nasdaq to a 12-year closing high and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a five-year high as stronger trade data lifted 

The Dow Jones industrial 
average ended up 48.92 points, or 0.35 per cent, at 13,992.97 while the broader S&P 500 rose 8.53 points, or 0.57 per cent, to close at 1,517.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 28.74 points, or 0.91 per cent, ending that day at 3,193.87.