Britain's bruised FTSE bounces back, led by IMI

Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:48am EDT

* FTSE 100 up 0.9 percent

* IMI leads on brighter outlook

* Miners boosted by robust China data

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Britain's top shares retraced some of their recent steep losses on Thursday in a broad-based rally, led higher by engineer IMI on a brighter outlook.

The FTSE 100 was up 57.87 points, or 0.9 percent, at 6,448.71 points by 0813 GMT following three days of losses, with IMI up 5.4 percent after saying it expects trading conditions to improve in the second half.

According to Thomson Reuters StarMine, 90 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have announced second-quarter results so far, of which 55 percent have beaten or met forecasts.

Miners also found favour, notching up a 1.7 percent rise after activity in top metals consumer China's manufacturing sector hit a four-month high in August.

Antofagasta and Vedanta Resources, with respective gains of 2.9 percent and 2.2 percent, were among the best off, while Kazakhmys rose 1.1 percent despite posting a more than 35 percent drop in first-half core profit.

Mounting expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start scaling back its stimulus as early as next month have been taking their toll on market sentiment.

The fact that minutes from the Fed's July policy meeting, released late on Wednesday, gave little indication as to the timing for a reduction in stimulus, was interpreted by some analysts as a positive.

"Tapering might be pushed out by another month or so... Maybe the sell-off was a little bit overdone going into the minutes," Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said.

Bond-buying schemes by the Fed and other major central banks have driven investors out of lower-yielding assets and into shares in the past year, helping the FTSE 100 rise roughly 23 percent since June 2012. (Editing by Stephen Nisbet)

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