FTSE boosted by investors

The London market surged higher today as investors returned to the fray following Friday’s dramatic plunge into the red.

The London market surged higher today as investors returned to the fray following Friday’s dramatic plunge into the red.

The FTSE 100 Index was buoyed by overnight gains on Asian markets as well as a positive end to the previous session on Wall Street.

The benchmark index stood 101.6 points higher at 6139.9 by mid-morning – a gain of 1.6%, or just under half of the 3.7% fall in the value of the Footsie seen on Friday after volatility in credit markets sent investors running for cover.

Other European exchanges were also in positive territory today, but the mood on the US markets this afternoon is likely to determine whether the recovery will be sustained.

In London, today’s rally was led by heavily-weighted mining stocks, helped by an upgrade for the sector from Credit Suisse. Kazakhmys was ahead 76p at 1158p - a gain of 7% – Antofagasta ahead 40p at 660p and BHP Billiton 61p stronger at 1322p.

Meanwhile worries over the exposure of banks to the credit crisis were partially put aside, with Barclays ahead 7.5p at 646p and Royal Bank of Scotland up 18p at 580p.

Publishing group Daily Mail & General Trust also featured among the Footsie gainers. The company, which has recently boosted its portfolio of niche recruitment websites, was ahead 46.5p to 687p.

ICI shares were ahead 11p at 635.5p, but the stock still lagged the 670p a share offer price agreed today with Dutch firm Akzo Nobel.

Meanwhile, Imperial Tobacco shares were ahead by more than 1%, as the Bristol-based firm prepared to ask shareholders for approval of its £11bn acquisition of Spain’s Altadis. Shares were ahead 28p at 2095p.

Among the few fallers, satellite broadcaster BSkyB was off 3.5p at 670p after reports that Tiscali had struck a deal with Irish broadcaster Setanta to add Premier League football to its television service.

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