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Britain's FTSE edges up from 5-week lows on EM relief
January 28, 2014 / 12:00 PM / in 4 years

Britain's FTSE edges up from 5-week lows on EM relief

* FTSE 100 gains 0.3 percent, rebounds from 5-week lows

* Recovery comes from technical support at 200-day moving average

* EM-exposed stocks lead, but concerns remain

By Toni Vorobyova

LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Britain’s top share index edged higher on Tuesday, propped up by a key technical support after it fell for five straight sessions, with companies exposed to emerging markets cheered by easing tensions there.

Emerging-market assets steadied after a three-day slump, reviving confidence in global risk assets and reassuring investors worried that companies will be hit by adverse exchange rate moves, falling demand and increased competition.

Aberdeen Asset Management, which invests around a third of its equities funds and 14 percent of its fixed-income portfolios in emerging markets, led the FTSE gainers, rising 3.4 percent .

Miners, which rely heavily on demand from emerging markets like China, also did well. Rio Tinto rose 2.3 percent and Anglo American added 1.7 percent.

The broad FTSE 100 was up 21.88 points, or 0.3 percent at 6,572.54 points, rebounding from technical support at the 200-day moving average around 6,556.64 points.

Volumes, however, were relatively light, with investors cautious ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve meeting. All eyes will be on whether the Fed pushes ahead with plans to trim its quantitative easing - a move which could further hit liquidity-reliant emerging markets.

“The 200-day moving average (on FTSE) coupled with rising trend line support from the June 2012 lows is providing a decent buy-on-dips level,” said Brenda Kelly, an analyst at IG Markets.

“Clearly, the jury is out on whether this current bounce is merely a relief rally ahead of the FOMC statement tomorrow, where the consensus expectation is for an additional shaving of $10 billion to the current QE programme.”

The FTSE - whose blue chips on average make around a third of their sales outside of Europe and North America - has fallen 4.2 percent in the past five sessions, hitting five-week lows and underperforming other European bourses.

In addition to emerging-market concerns, investors have been worried about the 2013 earnings season and whether it will deliver profits strong enough to justify relatively elevated valuations.

So far, the signals have been mixed. Fresnillo fell 2.9 percent on Tuesday, bucking the general strength in miners, after reporting a fall in gold production.

Chip producer ARM, meanwhile, fell 2.4 percent after Apple reported a drop in iPhone sales. ARM licenses chips for use in Apple products.

The spots of weakness have put investor focus on choosing individual shares rather than betting on the whole market.

“We’ve been underweight emerging markets from the end of last year, and continue to maintain that position ... We are positive about the global growth story and at the moment we see greater value in playing that through developed markets,” said Oliver Wallin, investment director at Octopus Investments.

“Our choice of preference within Europe is for stock pickers and ... UK fits within our European views.”

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