London’s leading shares index closed ahead for the fifth day in a row today as positive jobs data in the US offset fears over a slowdown in China.
The FTSE 100 Index rose 5.6 points to a fresh four-month high of 5,851.5 after the US labour department reported weekly jobless claims dropped by 6,000.
The figures helped the London market keep its head above water after China’s industrial-output growth unexpectedly slowed in July to a three-year low, raising fears over the health of the powerhouse Asian economy.
Standard Chartered shares continued to recover following a tough defence against allegations that the bank covered up illegal dealings with Iran. Standard rose for the second day in a row, up another 4%, or 47.5p to £13.63.
BSkyB shares were 9p higher at 752p after the broadcaster won its appeal against Ofcom’s ruling that it had to offer two of its sports channels to competitors at wholesale prices. The ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal impacted BT, which fell 5.4p to 216.3p, a decline of 2%.
Shares in insurer Aviva slipped 1.5p to 316.7p after it reported a 10% drop in half-year operating profits and warned of more tough conditions to come.
The biggest Footsie risers included ITV ahead 1.95p at 83.2p, IMI up 19p at 899.5p and Glencore ahead 6.9p at 344.8p.
Among the biggest Footsie fallers were Amec down 56p at £11.03, Evraz off 6.9p at 273.1p and Smiths Group off 18p at £10.57.
Stuart Lamont, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Cairn Energy gained 2.9% to 304.7p, Standard Life added 0.8% to 256p and EnQuest rose 0.6% to 119.3p.
Among the laggards, BG Group lost 1% to £13.12 and Wood Group slipped 0.8% to 820.3p.