* FTSE 100 up, near multi-year intraday high of 6,875
* Unilever jumps on forecast-beating results, helped by EM
* SABMiller hit by poor developed markets
* Charts suggest FTSE to push higher despite miners' pause
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Jan 21 Britain's top shares edged higher
on Tuesday, boosted by corporate results that revealed a return
of strong demand in emerging market economies even as the
consumption picture in Europe remained weak.
Consumer goods firm Unilever rose 3.8 percent, the
top FTSE gainer, after it unveiled better-than-expected 2013
results, helped by a rebound in emerging markets.
Brewer SABMiller, however, slipped 0.9 percent
despite price increases and volume growth in emerging markets,
after sales disappointed estimates having been plagued by weak
consumer sentiment in Europe and North America.
In the latest sign of weak sentiment in the region, German
investor morale unexpectedly fell in January, according to a
survey by the Mannheim-based ZEW economic think tank.
"What's common across the consumer products area is that
Europe and the euro zone are in difficulty ... Unilever really
received its push ahead from emerging markets, because the
growth in Europe has been sluggish," David Madden, market
analyst at IG, said.
"That's been evident in SABMiller also. It's not surprising
that companies are looking to emerging markets to get their
growth, because well-established markets in Europe are
Optimism over emerging markets boosted Asia-focused lender
Standard Chartered, up 2.8 percent after China's
central bank moved to head off another destabilising liquidity
squeeze on Tuesday with a big injection of cash.
In all, consumer staples and financials combined to add 18
points to the blue-chip FTSE 100 index, enough to take
it into positive territory by the middle of the session.
The FTSE was up 13.96 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,850.69
points by 1135 GMT, breaking through a multi-year closing high
of 6,840 points hit last May.
The index remained just 0.3 percent off May's intraday high
at 6,875, which was its highest level since December 1999.
Valerie Gastaldy, head of technical analysis firm
Day-By-Day, was targeting that level for the FTSE 100, despite
seeing resistance in the mining and oil and gas sectors, which
were in negative territory on Tuesday after strong run-ups last
UK miners posted their best week in 18 months
"Miners may show some hesitation as they have reached their
resistance area ... but it is only a matter of a little
patience, they are bullish," Gastaldy said.
"The FTSE100 is climbing slowly, but climbing, and we
maintain our target at 6,875."