* FTSE 100 index rises 0.3 percent
* Miners up on higher metals, JPMorgan's bullish view
* BSkyB falls, confirms talks over assets in Germany, Italy
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, May 12 Britain's top share index
advanced on Monday morning, with mining companies leading the
market higher as metals prices rose and JPMorgan upgraded the
The UK mining index rose 1.8 percent to a
one-month high after JPMorgan raised the European mining sector
to "overweight" from "underweight". The bank said it saw signs
activity was rebounding and the companies were cutting costs.
A rise of up to 4 percent in key industrial metals prices on
supply concerns and short covering also helped the mining index.
Rio Tinto rose 2.4 percent and BHP Billiton 1.8
They helped the FTSE 100 index gain 0.3 percent to
6,831.84 points by 0807 GMT, after a 0.4 percent decline on
Friday. It had risen to a peak of 6,840.37 on Thursday, its
highest since late February.
Analysts said the gains could be capped by geopolitical
concerns and a mixed earnings season, but the longer-term
outlook remained positive.
"Macroeconomic indicators are showing that the UK is
continuing to grow quite rapidly, but tensions in Ukraine are
influencing appetite for risk and some of the earnings numbers
coming out of both Europe and the UK have been quite mixed,"
Daniel McCormack, strategist with Macquarie, said.
"The lack of delivery on earnings is one reason why the
market is struggling. Longer term, there is still quite a bit of
upside to come because I do think that earnings will improve. We
have still got scope for an earnings-driven rally on a 12 to
According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 51 percent
companies on the STOXX Europe 600 index have so far
missed analysts' forecasts for the first quarter.
But the UK market is likely to get support from improving
economic outlook. The Confederation of British Industry, the top
business lobby, upgraded its growth forecasts for this year and
next and said it expects to see marked improvements in business
investment and productivity.
Among other movers, British Sky Broadcasting fell
2.4 percent after saying it was in early talks with Rupert
Murdoch's 21st Century Fox over the possible acquisition of its
pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, Sky Deutschland
and Sky Italia.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Larry King)