London’s blue-chip index closed up today as it benefited from increased optimism on world markets.
The FTSE 100 Index closed 28.8 points higher at 6,416.1, helped by a shares rally in the retail sector spurred on by better-than-expected figures from Marks & Spencer.
The high street giant’s shares set the pace among stocks, with a rise of 4% as investors cheered its strongest quarterly sales growth in two years.
There were also encouraging signs from parenting retailer Mothercare whose shares were up 8%, or 23.75p to 315.75p, while stationery and books chain WH Smith added to the positive mood by reporting a 5% rise in half-year profits to £69million. Shares rose by 48.5p to 793.5p.
It was joined on the way up by Hays after the recruitment firm signalled an improved performance in the UK and Ireland. Its shares were 8% higher, a rise of 7.8p to 101.2p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers included Weir Group ahead 78p to £23.61, IMI 38p higher at £12.69 and Burberry up 38p to £13.18.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Evraz down 23.9p to 185.8p, Eurasian Natural Resources off 12.8p to 257.1p, Randgold Resources 145p lower at £51.95 and Fresnillo down 32p to £12.91.
Carrie Keenan, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Wolfson Microelectronics up 5.29% at 182.5p and Optos added 2.56% with 152p.
Faroe Petroleum finished among the fallers, sliding 1.21% to 145.125p, while SSE edged 0.39% lower to £15.29.