* FTSE 100 up 1.1 percent
* Kingfisher, easyJet, Wolseley all bounce after updates
* FTSE remains 4 percent off 2014 peak
* Miners advance on China stimulus hopes
By Tricia Wright and Alistair Smout
LONDON, March 25 UK shares rose on Tuesday,
rebounding off of a six-week closing low, after Kingfisher and
easyJet posted updates that raised optimism about the outlook
for corporate earnings this year.
Home improvements retailer Kingfisher jumped 6.3 percent as
it said it would return about 200 million pounds ($330 million)
to shareholders in the current year, after meeting forecasts
with a 4.1 percent rise in 2013-14 profit.
It was followed on the FTSE 100 leaderboard by easyJet
. The budget airline upgraded its first-half outlook by
25 percent, helped by tight cost control and the popularity of
its allocated seating programme, sending its shares 4.5 percent
Plumbing supplies group Wolseley also gained after
its corporate update, rising 3.3 percent as strength in its
U.S., British and Nordic operations lifted its profit.
"Most of the figures out today seem to be broadly positive,
with Wolseley, easyJet and Kingfisher all reading pretty well.
There's a raft of good corporate figures which point to a good
economic backdrop," Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital,
They helped the FTSE 100 index advance 74.25 points,
or 1.1 percent, to 6,594.64 points by 1151 GMT.
Only five stocks on the index were in negative territory.
Royal Mail Group fell 1.7 percent after announcing 1,300
job cuts, with traders also highlighting light letter volumes.
"Royal Mail will be all over the headlines for the wrong
reasons tomorrow (but) have made what I think is the right move
in the longer term," Rundle said.
Market gains lifted the FTSE away from its lowest close
since February 5, although it remained around 4 percent shy of
its 2014 peak hit in late January.
The stock market has suffered from concerns about
developments in Ukraine, as the G7 warned Moscow of more
sanctions should Russia destabilise its neighbour further.
Signs that China's growth is slowing has also dampened
market sentiment, particularly mining stocks, but they rebounded
on Tuesday on speculation China will act to support its economy
after a survey showed manufacturing contracted in the first
Credit Suisse reduced its overweight on global equities,
citing China as its "biggest global macro concern", but said it
should grow enough for equities to continue to look attractive.
"Only sub-5 percent GDP growth would lead us to underweight
equities ... for now, we think that China has the policy power
to avoid sub-5 percent GDP growth," strategists at Credit Suisse
said in a note.
(Editing by Susan Fenton)