FTSE records best day in five months as commodities shares surge

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s top share index ended higher on Friday, recording its best one-day percentage gain in more than five months, as banking and commodities-related stocks rebounded from a slump in the previous session.

People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Aircraft engine-maker Rolls-Royce jumped more than 14 percent after a well-received update, helping the FTSE 100 index to end 3.1 percent higher at 5,707.60 points, after falling to its lowest point since late 2012 on Thursday. The index, however, finished 2.4 percent lower this week.

The UK mining index surged 8.8 percent and the oil and gas index gained 5.9 percent after prices of major industrial metals rose and oil prices rose 10 percent on prospects for a coordinated production cut, sparked by comments from the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates.

“Strong gains in oil provides a timely boost to what has been a rather gloomy week,” said Craig Erlam, a senior analyst at OANDA. “But I’m not convinced at this stage that this is anything more than a dead cat bounce.”

Shares in Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell and BP rose 5.8 to 18.4 percent.

Banks were also among the top gainers, with the FTSE 350 Banks index rebounding from a seven-year low to trade up 5.4 percent, led by an 11 percent rise in Standard Chartered and a 6.3 percent gain in Barclays.

Banks had come under pressure this week following concern about their profitability in a low-growth, low-interest rate environment. However, positive results from Commerzbank gave a lift to banks across Europe.

Rolls-Royce was among the top gainers in the FTSE 100 index. Its shares surged 14.3 percent after an update in which it left its 2016 guidance unchanged.

A slowdown in demand for some of its engines has hit the company, causing its full-year profit to slide 16 percent. The company, which issued three profit warnings last year, halved its dividend, but investors cheered the move to strengthen its finances.

“Investors breathed a sigh of relief that the group did not issue a further profit warning and that it only cut its dividend whereas many feared it might be scrapped,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said in a note.

Editing by Jon Boyle, Larry King