European stocks climbed today, buoyed by hopes a deal will be found to avert the US fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.
London’s FTSE 100 Index closed up 23.7 points to 5,935.9, while the City’s second tier market, the FTSE 250, reached an all time high of 12,293.2.
In the top flight Rio Tinto set the pace with a gain of 3%, up 98p to £35.68, while Vedanta Resources cheered by 28p to £11.43.
Security group G4S joined them on the risers board after it emerged that it had been selected by the Department for Work & Pensions to compete for call centre services to support the UK Government’s child maintenance service. Shares were 2.7% higher, up 6.7p at 257p.
Leisure group Whitbread, which trades as Premier Inn and coffee chain Costa, was 2% stronger – 46p to £24.65 – after it secured a £19.6million profit on the sale and leaseback of seven properties.
In corporate results, voucher and gift card company Park rose 6.5% after it posted a 2% rise in half-year revenues and said its pre-tax losses narrowed to £4.1million over the seasonally-quieter period. With orders well ahead of the equivalent period last year, shares were 3.5p higher at 57p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers included Pearson 30p higher at £12.05.
Among the biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Vodafone down 2p to 156.3p, Petrofac off 19p to £16.61, Randgold 70p lower at £61.50 and Hargreaves Lansdown down 5p to 694p.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted FirstGroup jumped 5.3% to 200.9p, Parkmead continued its recent advance with a rise of 3.51% to 14.375p and Royal Bank of Scotland closed 1.13% higher at 305.1p.
On the fallers board, Xcite slipped 1.39% to 88.75p and EnQuest weakened 0.43% to 115.05p.