UK stocks have clearly brushed off the negative activity in the US on Monday as stocks are confident...
UK stocks have clearly brushed off the negative activity in the US on Monday as stocks are confidently climbing again this morning, led by Cable & Wireless who is proposing to buy back up to 15% of its own shares.
The FTSE 100 gained 51.6 points of 1% to 5328.7, thanks largely to Cable & Wireless which gained 21p or 6.1% to 367p on its own, even though Cable & Wireless is seen as the FTSE's worst performer.
The company says it has lost £567m in the first-half, compared with a profit of £4.1bn last year, and has had to write down £839m in assets.
Anglo American is rising again for the second day running after ABN Amro upgraded its view of the mining industry from negative to neutral.
The UK's second-biggest mining company rose 4.4% to 988p, while BHP Billiton climbed 3.7% to 336p and Rio Tinto, sitting in the No.3 slot, has advanced 1.7% to 1,251p.
Whether strong activity in the stockmarkets continues throughout the day, however, remains to be seen, as the government has just announced within the last hour that unemployment figures rose last month for the first time in a year.
The number of people out of work and claiming benefits last month rose by 4,300 to 951,000, says the government, so the expectation is this will again place pressure on the Bank of England to cut interest rates in an attempt to maintain consumer confidence.
Unsurprisingly, news of the Taliban retreat in Kabul kept the US stockmarkets buoyant yesterday but it was technology stocks which benefited most.
Microsoft, General Electric and AOL Time Warner were among the largest winners as positive news elsewhere forced fund managers and analysts to focus on home territories. Optimism is now so strong analysts believe the 10 interest rate cuts seen so far from the Federal Reserve will in fact revive growth.
The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 51.98 points or 2.8% to 1892.11 and the Dow Jones climbed 196.58 points or 2.1% to 9750.95, while Microsoft and Intel helped to lift the S&P 500 index by 20.76 points to 1139.09.
Such sentiments continued in the far East today as most of the stockmarkets made gains on the back of troop movements in Afghanistan.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 2.7% to a 10-week high 10,950.04, alongside gains in Korea, Taiwan and Australia.
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