* FTSE 100 up 0.4 percent
* Aggreko rises on Africa power deal
* Miners weaken, China concerns dog sector
* Retailers advance, Morrisons and Ocado in talks
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, March 14 Britain's top shares rose on
Thursday led by Aggreko on a power deal in Africa, though
heavyweight miners limited gains as some traders bet a rally
that has propelled the FTSE 100 to five-year highs could stall.
The FTSE 100 was up 25.37 points, or 0.4 percent, at
6,506.87 by 1228 GMT, recovering from the previous session's 0.5
percent drop to put it within touching distance of 6,510.62, its
highest closing level since late 2007.
Miners fell, with investors jittery over China given its
recent indication that inflation concerns could take precedence
over a pro-growth stance. The sector is down some 2 percent in
2013, against a more than 10 percent advance on the FTSE 100.
"With heavily weighted mining stocks dragging on the back of
(concerns over) China's economic growth, it seems as if it may
still be some time until we see the London benchmark index
re-take those highs we last saw in 2007," Mike McCudden, head of
derivatives at Interactive Investor, said.
Fawad Razaqzada, market strategist at GFT Markets, whilst
still bullish on the FTSE 100, "can't help but feel there will
be a nasty sell-off at some stage soon as investors rush to book
He, nevertheless, expected the FTSE 100 to reach 6,600, or
even 6,700 before seeing a significant pull-back, and
highlighted that support was likely to come in around 6,400,
formerly a key resistance level.
Aggreko advanced 5.6 percent to 1,942 pence, in trading
volume at three quarters of its 90-day daily average after
striking a deal to supply power to EDM in Mozambique and
NamPower in Namibia.
Shares in the temporary power provider have had a torrid
time since the company issued two profit warnings at the back
end of last year and remain well below the highs of around 2,400
pence seen last September.
Mike van Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets, said
the update gives additional support around the 1,820-1,850 pence
after the recent bounce, and the possibility of further
contracts could help with a return to 2,100-2,400 pence.
"In the absence of additional contracts, bulls would do well
to note, however, potential resistance at the 200-day moving
average (around 2,050 pence) and the trendline of falling highs
from September (around 2,100 pence)," he said in a note.
Retailers notched up solid gains on Thursday. Britain's
fourth-biggest grocer Wm Morrison added 2.6 percent
after raising its dividend by 10 percent and announcing talks
with online grocer Ocado over an online food operation.
Ocado, which has been the talk of bid rumours involving
Morrisons and is one of the most shorted stocks on the FTSE
indexes, also reported a strong rise in recent sales and jumped
Britain's biggest household goods retailer Home Retail
rose 11.5 percent after it hiked its profit forecast
for the second time in 2013.
And yield-hungry investors continued to snap up shares in
Prudential, up 3.1 percent, after the insurer ramped up
its dividend by a bigger than expected 16 percent on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Tricia Wright; editing by Ron Askew)