* FTSE 100 up 0.2 percent
* Signs of pick-up in global growth bolster sentiment
* Croda leads, Deutsche Bank upgrades to "buy"
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Aug 23 Britain's blue chip shares inched
up on Friday against a backdrop of economic recovery taking
hold, led by specialty chemical maker Croda International on a
rating hike from Deutsche Bank.
Croda International, up 4.1 percent, was the
biggest gainer by some margin, with traders citing Deutsche
Bank's upgrade of the stock to "buy" from "hold" on the view
that top-line growth is set to pick up.
"Top-line growth has slowed over the past year ... We view
this slowdown as cyclical rather than structural and expect
sales growth to accelerate driven by a resumption of
growth in Crop Care and Personal Care," the bank said in a note.
By 1049 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 11.85 points, or
0.2 percent, at 6,458.72 points, having risen 0.9 percent on
Thursday - its biggest one-day gain since the start of the
Markets have become increasingly jittery in recent weeks on
the prospect that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start reeling in
its stimulus programme, which has lifted global equities.
But that was offset on Friday by fresh signs of a pick-up in
the pace of economic growth, with data showing the UK economy
had grown more than first thought in the second quarter - coming
on the heels of a batch of upbeat macroeconomic data from around
the world on Thursday. Germany also confirmed solid
"Investors should be able to be relaxed about risk appetite
in the current environment with the improving conditions that we
have been seeing, regardless of whether the Federal Reserve
starts to taper its stimulus package as expected in September,"
Henk Potts, market strategist at Barclays, said.
Technical analysts, however, sounded a note of caution on
the UK benchmark, which has fallen around 2.4 percent since the
beginning of the month.
GFT Markets analyst Fawad Razaqzada said that before he can
conclude that the long-term bullish trend has resumed, the index
must first break several resistance levels - at 6,500, 6,550 and
(Editing by Susan Fenton)