* FTSE up 0.1 pct at 6,760.29
* Capita rises after upgrading estimates, contract win
* M&S climbs on hope of sustained turnaround
* Miners rally as Soc Gen sees Q2 price pick-up
* Carnival falls as it slashes forecasts
By David Brett
LONDON, May 21 Rallying miners and a contract
win for outsourcing company Capita helped steady the FTSE 100 by
midday on Tuesday despite weakness in travel firms after
disappointing results from Carnival.
By 1011 GMT, London's blue chip index was up 4.66 points, or
0.1 percent, at 6,760.29, having closed at its highest level
since late September 2000 on Monday driven by investors striving
for higher returns.
"The surge in equities has been partly down to (central
banks') quantitative easing programmes and calling the top of
this rally is proving increasingly difficult," Lee McDarby, head
of dealing at Investec Corporate Treasury, said.
"Any wobble in the index just looks like another buying
opportunity," he said.
Technical analysts said a recent bounce from the 6,710 zone
suggests the up-move for the FTSE 100 still has legs and with
the highs of 2007 now tested and exceeded, there is little major
resistance until the all-time high of 6,950.60 struck in 1999.
Investors looked for signs that companies' earnings could
keep up with the market's recent re-rating.
Outsourcing company Capita climbed 7.1 percent after
winning a 1.2 billion pound ($1.8 billion) contract with
Telefonica's UK O2 mobile phone business
British retailer Marks & Spencer rose 4.6 percent as
investors put their faith in a turnaround after the firm posted
a profit that was its lowest since 2009, although it just beat
Miners, down 12.4 percent in 2013 on earnings
and pricing concerns, rallied as Societe Generale's commodities
team said the sell-off in base metals prices had been overdone
and Chinese restocking would feed a rally.
Although it cut earnings forecasts across the board, Soc
Gen's main stock picks remain Rio Tinto and Glencore
Xstrata, which were up 3.1 and 3.3 percent,
Caps on gains included the travel and leisure sector
which was led lower by a 11.9 percent fall in
cruise operator Carnival as it slashed its full-year
earnings outlook for the second time in less than three months.
Gains for most major European markets have been almost
uninterrupted since mid-April and that has prompted Nomura to
place a short-term hedge on its European recommended portfolio,
although it expects indexes to finish the year above current
(Reporting by David Brett; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)