* FTSE 100 up 0.8 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
advanced on Friday on signs that the country's economic recovery
is taking hold, with specialty chemical maker Croda
International leading the gains on a rating hike from Deutsche
By 1442 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 51.10 points, or
0.8 percent, at 6,497.97 points, building on the previous
session's 0.9 percent rise and trimming its monthly loss to 1.9
While markets have been jittery in recent weeks on the
prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve starting to reel in its
stimulus programme, which has lifted global equities, that was
offset by signs that Britain's economic growth is gaining steam.
The UK economy grew more than first thought in the second
quarter, data showed on Friday, following a batch of upbeat
macroeconomic news from around the world on Thursday. Germany
also confirmed its solid second-quarter growth.
"The corrective pull-back that the FTSE's had could be
described as a little bit overdone especially in light of the
broadly positive data that we've been seeing," Alastair McCaig,
strategist at IG, said.
Croda International, up 4.6 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, referring
to two divisions of the company.
GFT Markets analyst Fawad Razaqzada, however, sounded a note
of caution about the FTSE 100, unwilling to say that the index,
up around 9 percent this year, is back on its long-term bullish
trend until it breaks through several resistance levels - at
6,500, 6,550 and 6,640.
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)