* FTSE 100 ends 1.2 percent higher
* Non-farm payrolls point to growth but support QE case
* Insurers lead gains following Credit Suisse note
* Aberdeen Asset Management end 10 percent down for the week
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, June 7 Britain's top shares rose on
Friday, following a reversal in financials after U.S. jobs data
pointed to growth in the U.S. economy without threatening the
Fed's monetary stimulus.
The FTSE 100 closed 75.88 points higher, or 1.2
percent, at 6,411.99 having fallen by as much as 0.4 percent
before the release of non-farm payrolls.
The index had been set for its worst week since May 2012
before the release, which indicated a pick-up in hiring but a
slight increase in the unemployment rate.
The FTSE 100 had dropped around 8 percent over the past two
weeks after U.S. Federal Reserve officials, including Chairman
Ben Bernanke, began discussing exit strategies to their
unprecedented open-ended quantitative easing programme.
"It's the best the market could have hoped for, with a
hiring number to suggest there's some progress being made in the
U.S. economy to validate the levels that risk assets had got to,
but no drop in the unemployment rate which would pressure the
Fed to wind down its programme," a London-based trader said.
Financials added 22 points to the index, with banks turning
a 1.2 percent slump into a 1.5 percent gain.
The top financial gainers were insurers, however, after
Credit Suisse highlighted the sector as making steady
improvement, favouring Prudential and Aviva in
"With continued scope for the sector's cost of equity to
fall and still relatively high dividend yields, we see the
sector as attractive in a broader market context despite recent
strong performance," analysts at Credit Suisse said in a note.
Prudential was the top blue-chip gainer, ahead 5.5 percent,
while Aviva added 2.8 percent.
On a thin day for corporate reports, analyst recommendations
and target price changes drove the biggest stock moves on
Friday, with second top gainer BT Group advancing 3.7
percent after a Barclays upgrade to "overweight".
However, Aberdeen Asset Management closed out a
torrid week as the top faller on the session. The fund manager
fell 1.7 percent, taking its weekly loss to 10.8 percent, after
being downgraded by BofA Merrill Lynch to "underperform"
following a target price cut by UBS earlier in the week.
(Editing by Ruth Pitchford)