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* FTSE 100 index up 0.3 percent
* Miners among top gainers
* Gold miners under pressure
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 10 Britain's commodity-heavy FTSE
100 index climbed to a three-week high on Friday, with a
rally in metals prices on soothing Chinese data and supply
concerns boosting shares in basic resources companies.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent at 7,253.60
points after hitting an intra-day peak of 7,274.80, the highest
since Jan. 17. The benchmark index, up more than 1 percent so
far this week, headed for a second week of gains.
The UK mining index gained more than 2 percent
as copper rose after China reported better-than-expected trade
data for January and workers at BHP Billiton's mine in
Chile went on a strike that threatens to disrupt copper supply.
Prices of other industrial metals were also sharply higher.
Shares in Anglo American, Antofagasta, Rio
Tinto, Glencore and BHP Billiton -- top five
gainers in the FTSE 100 index -- advanced 1.8 to 3.4 percent.
Sentiment also improved after data highlighted that British
manufacturing grew more strongly than expected in December,
suggesting the economy remained resilient to the end of the year
despite June's Brexit vote shock.
"There is plenty to be cheery about UK plc. Industrial
production growth hit a six-year high in the final month of 2016
... While slower than the 2.1 percent seen in Nov, it was miles
ahead of the flat growth expected," said Neil Wilson, analyst at
"Today's data confirm that the UK economy remains very
resilient and lends support to the Bank of England's decision to
revise up its 2017 growth outlook."
However, gold miners lost favour today.
Shares in Randgold Resources and Fresnillo
fell 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent respectively on a firmer dollar
after U.S. President Donald Trump promised a major tax move and
as data boosted expectations of a U.S. rate hike.
Elsewhere, building materials group CRH rose 1.7
percent after Berenberg raised its target price for the stock to
34.6 euros from 32 euros.
Among mid-caps, speciality chemicals maker Elementis
rose nearly 7 percent after saying it would buy U.S.-based
SummitReheis for an enterprise value of $360 million. The deal
would increase the annual sales of its personal care business to
$200 million and boost its adjusted earnings.
On the downside, Just Eat fell 6.6 percnet after the
chief executive of the online food delivery company was to quit
due to "urgent family matters", prompting the chairman to step
into his role on a temporary basis.
The UK index is up around 1.5 percent so far this year,
after surging 14 percent last year and outperforming other major
European equity indexes.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Toby Chopra)