* FTSE 100 up 0.2 pct, rising for second consecutive day
* Vodafone adds most points to FTSE
* FTSE had previously fallen for 5 days in a row
* FTSE still down 4 percent since start of 2014
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Feb 6 Britain's top equity index rose
for the second straight session on Thursday, as gains at
telecoms group Vodafone enabled it to continue its break
away from an earlier five-day losing streak.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which had fallen for
five straight days during the last two weeks, was up by 0.2
percent, or 15.66 points, at 6,473.55 in early session trading.
A 1.1 percent rise in Vodafone, after the mobile operator
expressed confidence that its revenues would improve, added the
most points to the FTSE 100 index.
Toby Campbell-Gray, head of trading at Tavira Securities,
said Vodafone continued to attract investors due to its solid
dividend yield and the fact there was bid speculation
surrounding it, even though its American peer AT&T ruled
out a bid for Vodafone last month.
"Vodafone's a quality stock. Why wouldn't you buy them?"
The FTSE 100 rose 14.4 percent in 2013 to post its best
annual gain since 2009, but has since fallen by 4 percent since
the start of 2014 as a slump in emerging economies knocked back
global equity markets.
Yet in spite of the pullback and worries over the state of
the emerging markets and a possible economic slowdown in China,
many investors with a long-term view over the whole of 2014
remain bullish on the FTSE.
They have said the FTSE should continue to rise slowly over
the course of the year, partly helped by signs of an economic
recovery in Britain.
Darren Easton, director of trading at Logic Investments,
said he was slowly building up "long" FTSE positions to bet on
further gains, but would look to see if the FTSE could end this
week above the 6,500-point level before adding to those
Central Markets analyst Joe Neighbour said he would be happy
to buy into the FTSE on days when the market fell provided it
did not drop below 6,420 points - which represented its lowest
level in December.
"Overall, we're still in a bull phase," said Neighbour.