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US manufacturing figures give Footsie a boost

US manufacturing figures give Footsie a boost
London's main market saw gains of nearly 2% today after better-than-expected US manufacturing data revived hopes for the world's biggest economy.

London’s main market saw gains of nearly 2% today after better-than-expected US manufacturing data revived hopes for the world’s biggest economy.

The FTSE 100 Index closed 106.4 points higher at 5,874.9 after an unpredictable session, which saw the market hit negative territory earlier in the day.

Miners received the biggest boost from the improved sentiment after the US figures.

Fresnillo set the pace with a rise of 66p to £16.64, Rio Tinto was £1.10 higher at £35.56 and Vedanta Resources lifted 32p to £12.60.

Randgold Resources reversed earlier losses, caused by finance firm Nomura’s decision to downgrade the stock amid the threat of potential sanctions on Mali, where it has significant operations, and closed 50p ahead at £54.20.

The banking sector also fought back from losses earlier in the session after reports that some of Europe’s major banks will look to repay the cheap three-year funding from the European Central Bank as early as later this year.

Lloyds Banking Group remained unchanged at 33.6p, while Barclays recovered to stand 1.2p higher at 236.5p and HSBC added 3.9p at 558.7p.

In the FTSE 250 Index, industrial conglomerate Cookson rose 6% amid reports it had appointed investment bank Rothschild to work on a plan that would see the electronics division, which makes parts for gadgets including Apple’s iPad, floated on the stock exchange as a stand-alone company. Shares were 41.5p higher at 732.5p.

Aberdeen-based FirstGroup was on the wrong track, with its shares down 12.7p to £2.25, after Deutsche Bank removed its buy rating on the stock due to concerns about the performance of the company’s bus division.

Banking software firm Misys retreated 3%, down 9p to £3.49, after CVC Capital Partners and ValueAct – the company’s biggest shareholder – said they were no longer mulling a joint bid for the business.

Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted EnQuest rising 3.7% to 130.75p, AMEC up 3% at £11.41 and Weir Group gaining 2.8% to £18.13.

A.G. Barr fell 3.9% to 1137.5p and Stagecoach Group dropped 2.8% to 248.25p.

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