* FTSE 100 up 0.3 pct, gains for 4th straight session
* Burberry soars on strong Christmas sales
* Index seen at 6,820 near-term - Charles Stanley
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Jan 15 Britain's top share index rose to
2-1/2 month highs on Wednesday, led by a steep rise Burberry
as investors welcomed a robust trading update from the
Investors are watching corporate updates for clues as to the
likely strength of the quarterly reporting season, and whether
it will justify high valuations after a bumper 2013.
Signs of an upturn in the global economy, which has
experienced a long and sluggish recovery following the financial
crisis, are boding well for company earnings, traders say.
As such, the World Bank has just raised its forecast for
global growth for the first time in three years.
Burberry jumped 5.8 percent after it unveiled a 14 percent
rise in underlying retail revenue in the Christmas quarter.
The 158-year-old seller of raincoats and leather goods said
it made 528 million pounds ($869.1 million) of retail revenue in
the three months to Dec. 31. That compared to analysts' average
forecast of 520 million pounds.
"Obviously the headline beat gives them their initial move
up, but what they've done is got their mix of online and offline
right... I would buy it and I think it will probably make new
highs this year," Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital
said, adding that 1,700 pence, near last year's peak, was his
"I don't think it's going to be a stellar earnings season
but I think it's definitely going to show positivity... The
world economy is improving and... I think the markets are a
The FTSE 100 was up 22.60 points, or 0.3 percent, at
6,789.46 points by 0902 GMT, on course for its fourth straight
session of gains, having received a boost on Tuesday when
forecast-beating U.S. December retail sales offset concern
sparked by last week's disappointing U.S. jobs report.
Charles Stanley analyst Bill McNamara said that while the
latest rally has added only around 1 percent, the "impression is
that the UK index is starting to find its feet" after a
tentative start to the new year.
"Overall, the technical picture remains supportive of the
rally and a test of (the October high, at 6,820) looks like a
realistic short-term expectation," he said.
Stocks trading without the attraction of their latest
dividend, namely Ashtead, Imperial Tobacco and
Next, clipped 3.39 points from the index on Wednesday.