UK's FTSE ends losing streak as China data boosts miners

Thu Aug 8, 2013 3:27am EDT

* FTSE 100 up 0.4 pct after four days of losses
    * Aviva rises after posting higher H1 profits

    By Sudip Kar-Gupta
    LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Britain's benchmark equity index
ended a four-day losing streak on Thursday as forecast-beating
trade data from China, the world's biggest metals consumer,
lifted mining stocks.
    The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose by 0.4 percent, or
22.62 points, to 6,533.83 points in early session trading, with
miners Antofagasta and Anglo American featuring
prominently on the leaderboard.
    Data earlier showed China's exports rose 5.1 percent in July
from a year ago, beating predictions of a 3 percent gain, while
imports jumped 10.9 percent versus forecasts of 2.1 percent.
 
    "Both sets of data are encouraging as the improving exports
are a sign that demand from the global economy is picking up,"
said Spreadex trader Shavaz Dhalla.
    The blue-chip index reached a 13-year high of 6,875.62
points in late May but has since slipped back, partly on
expectations that the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus
measures as the U.S. economy gradually strengthens.
    Central Markets chief strategist Richard Perry said he would
keep a positive outlook on the FTSE until mid-September, when
the Federal Reserve meets amid expectations it might start to
ease back on its bond buying programme at that point.
    Many firms have reassured with interim results over the last
month, and the FTSE 100 remains up roughly 10 percent since the
start of 2013, having rallied from lows reached in June.
    Insurer Aviva topped Thursday's FTSE leaderboard,
rising 5.6 percent after posting higher first-half profits.
 

 (Editing by John Stonestreet)
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