Britain's FTSE firmer after U.S. jobs report

Fri Jun 6, 2014 11:26am EDT

* FTSE 100 up 0.6 pct

* Markets welcome U.S. jobs data

* ECB measures help broader European markets

* Cyclical stocks outperform; defensives weak

* Aggreko, Centrica shares up

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) - UK shares advanced on Friday after a solid U.S. jobs report came on the heels of fresh stimulus measures from the European Central Bank which underpinned European markets.

Cyclical stocks, so-called because they are highly geared to the economic cycle, were in demand, with money managers St. James's Place and Aberdeen Asset Management among the top risers on the UK benchmark.

Consumer goods company Unilever, spirits maker Diageo, and cigarette firm Imperial Tobacco - all considered to be defensive stocks which often bring up the rear when markets rise - were some of the day's biggest fallers.

The FTSE 100 index was up 40.14 points, or 0.6 percent, at 6,853.63 points by 1506 GMT, in line with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.

Traders bet on further short-term gains for the FTSE 100, trading just 0.6 percent shy of a peak hit last month of 6,894.88 - its highest level since December 1999, when it set a record of 6,950.60 points.

About 217,000 U.S. jobs were added last month, in line with market expectations, while the unemployment rate held steady at 6.3 percent.

"The fact that it came in bang on... has been fairly encouraging for the markets," IG chief market strategist Brenda Kelly said.

"The FTSE still hasn't hit its all-time high, it hasn't even managed to hit the 6,900 level... I would say there's still a little bit more room to go in it."

Aggreko, the world's biggest temporary power provider, rose 1.7 percent. Analysts at Jefferies rated the stock a "buy" in a note to clients on Friday, saying the company had "sizeable" opportunities in South America.

Centrica, meanwhile, saw its shares advance 1.4 percent after a report in the Daily Mail said the utility had attracted bid interest from Middle East investors. Centrica declined to comment on the report. (Additional reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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