LONDON -- A combination of factors, including the apparent end to the fuel protests that have almost paralyzed the country, helped the London markets emphatically halt their seven-day losing streak.
ended higher 77 points, or 1.2%, to 6556 and the
just failed to close above the 4000 level, finishing up 72 points, or 1.8%, at 3993.
London's equity market got off to a good start after Wednesday's gains on the
. But it was the softer U.S. August producer price index that set the market alight. This sent the U.S. markets soaring, which helped London consolidate its gains. The belief that global rates have peaked is really starting to take hold, and this proved good news for financials. The big banks led the way.
shot up 21p, or 1.4%, to
was up 14p, or 2.3%, to end at 629.
closed back above
10.00 as it rose 15p, or 1.5%, to
recorded the best performance in the sector as it rose 30.5p higher, or 3.2%, to 994.5.
Telecom stocks were also among the biggest winners of the day. Heavily weighted
contributed over 20 points to the FTSE's gain today, the shares headed north by 9.75p, or 3.7%, to 274.
was in the thick of the action as it added 21p, or 2.6%, to 823.
Cable & Wireless
rose 70p, or 2.6%, to
reiterated its buy recommendation for
, with a price target of
40. The brokerage sees big potential for the telco when the local loop is unbundled next year. The stock was up 182p, or 8.9%, to
22.28, the biggest gainer of the day.
It wasn't all good news in the market.
reported an increase in half-year pretax profits to
480 million, from
358 million last year. However, investors grabbed their money and ran as the stock fell 31p, or 7.9%, to 367p, making it the biggest faller of the day in the main index.
Internet security company
fell after announcing it is to buy
, a content security firm, in a
703 million all-share offer. Shares in Baltimore fell 12p, or 1.6%, at 760 in response to the proposed dilution of the stock.
There was a feisty annual general meeting at the
London Stock Exchange
today, as shareholders took the chairman Don Cruickshank and the CEO Gavin Casey to task over the collapse of the merger this week with
. Shareholders voted with a show of hands not to re-elect Gavin Casey, whose future will be decided by a full ballot later today, but Cruickshank's re-election was passed on a show of hands, although it, too, is subject to a full vote.
Europe's other stock markets also finished higher, as the
in Paris closed up 69.0, or 1.1%, at 6637.9. Late in the German session the
in Frankfurt was up 56.4, or 0.8%, at 7062.6. The
index was 63.5 higher, or 1.1%, at 6045.9.
Technology shares were able to hold onto early gains, with
up 1.06 euros, or 1%, at 104.56 ($89.77),
up 3.51 euros, or 2%, at 179.00 and software-maker
6.75 euros higher, or 2.5%, at 278.75.
climbed 0.82 euros, or 2%, to 43.13, as the company's weighting in the Dax was set to increase Monday due to a quarterly index review.
Other telecoms also did well, with
ending up 0.90 euros, or 3.8%, at 24.44 and
finishing up 2.60 euros, or 2%, at 129.00.
Elsewhere in Paris,
jumped 6.10 euros, or 7.3%, to 89.90. Missing out on the broad rally, however, was French food group
, which closed down 2.40 euros, or 1.5%, to 159.50 despite reporting climbing profits in the first-half of the year.