Markets: Shares resuming upward trajectory

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London’s top share index resumed its rally yesterday, cheered by encouraging data from both sides of the Atlantic.

Improved industrial surveys from Germany, Italy and the UK combined with solid jobs figures from the US to revitalise investors’ taste for equities and propel the FTSE 100 Index up 70.4 points to 6,347.2.

Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads, said: “The move higher and the reversal of the sell off indicates that risk appetite for equities remains strong. At this rate it may not be too long before we see a seven in front of the FTSE 100.”

Telecoms giant BT led the charge on London’s blue chip index as the former state monopoly strengthened its new image as a broadband and media company with a 7 per cent rise in reported profits. Shares were also up 7 per cent, adding 16.2p to 264.8p, as the firm said growth in its broadband customer base had accelerated.

Shares in Guinness owner Diageo still had plenty of fizz after it reported operating profits ahead of City forecasts on Thursday. Scotland’s largest whisky distiller was up a further 29p to 1,906p.

But sugar and ingredients group Tate & Lyle was suffering after its trading update confirmed that underlying third-quarter profits were lower than a year earlier, although in line with expectations. Shares in the Silver Spoon group fell 1 per cent or 8.5p to 804p.

Barclays was another in the red, down 1p to 300p, as its pay plans remain in the spotlight after chief executive Antony Jenkins said he would waive his 2012 bonus. Royal Bank of Scotland was also lower amid worries about its bonus payments and the upcoming settlement of its Libor-rigging fines. Shares were down 2.8p at 340.5p.

NEW YORK: Wall Street rose to five-year highs last night, with the Dow closing above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007, after jobs and manufacturing data showed the US economy’s recovery remains on track.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 149.21 points, or 1.08 per cent, to close at 14,009.79 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ended up 15.05 points, or 1.00 per cent, at 1,513.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 36.97 points, or 1.18 per cent, closing at 3,179.10.