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U.S. data lifts FTSE; Burberry jumps on bid talk
September 24, 2010 / 11:07 AM / in 7 years

U.S. data lifts FTSE; Burberry jumps on bid talk

* FTSE 100 advances 0.9 percent, boosted by U.S. data

* Miners fall on broker comment, outlook worries

* ARM, Burberry jump on bid speculation

By Simon Falush

LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Reassuring data from the United States sparked a rally in banks and energy stocks on Friday to push Britain’s top share index firmly higher by the close on Friday, while Burberry (BRBY.L) jumped on takeover talk.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE was down for much of the day, but the U.S. data helped it end up 51.40 points, or 0.9 percent, at 5,598.48. It has risen 7.1 percent so far this month, on track for the best monthly performance since August 2009.

A rebound in U.S. business spending and steady home sales in August gave Friday trading an upbeat feel, while German business sentiment rose unexpectedly in September, also supporting the view that the global economy is on a steady path to recovery.

This boosted risk-sensitive banks and energy stocks with HSBC (HSBA.L), Barclays (BARC.L) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) rising 0.4 to 1.8 percent.

“There were a number of people who were looking for the U.S. data to disappoint,” said Steven Bell, director at hedge fund GLC.

“Growth (in the United States) seems to be struggling in a 1.5 percent to 2 percent range, and I do think we’ll break through the top of this.”

BID WATCH

Bid speculation was also a factor supporting the index. Fashion group Burberry (BRBY.L) gained 6 percent, with traders citing talk of bid interest from a U.S. private equity firm. Burberry declined to comment.

ARM holdings ARM.L was the top gainer, up 6.1 percent after bid speculation for the chip designer was revived by comments from the chief executive of U.S. software giant Oracle Corp ORCL.O.

Larry Ellison said on Thursday that he was keen to make more acquisitions to bolster Oracle’s technology, and a microchip company could be a good fit.

Hammerson (HMSO.L) was another strong performer, adding 4.4 percent as Credit Suisse named it and British Land (BLND.L) as its top picks among real estate investment companies. British Land gained 1.7 percent.

The broker upgraded the sector to “benchmark” from “underweight”.

Miners were among the biggest fallers, weighed on by a research note from UBS.

The note said: “Unexpected government rulings on minerals leases and taxation in many national jurisdictions ... (are) challenging many sustainable corporate growth strategies.”

Anglo American (AAL.L), Kazakhmys (KAZ.L) and Antofagasta (ANTO.L), which were all downgraded by the broker, shed 0.5 to 2.5 percent. (Editing by Will Waterman)

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