October 23, 2007 / 5:44 AM / 12 years ago

FTSE breaks three-day losing run

LONDON (Reuters) - The FTSE 100 .FTSE index snapped a three-day losing streak to end up 0.85 percent on Tuesday, lifted by rebounding banks and miners.

A general view of the entrance atrium at the London Stock Exchange is seen in central London, February 20, 2007. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

The benchmark index closed 54.7 points higher at 6,514.0, but well off its day's high of 6,562.7 as the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI and S&P 500 .SPX turned flat. European shares ended the day higher.

The FTSE 100 had lost 3.2 percent in the previous three sessions on renewed concerns about the damage from a U.S. housing slump on the world’s largest economy.

“This is a battle of the Q3 (corporate) results. Obviously there was a very buoyant mood earlier today and towards the U.S. open. That was largely fuelled by some fabulous figures from Apple last night,” said Tim Hughes, head of sales trading at IG Index.

“The FTSE is still up but the Dow isn’t because other figures that have been coming out today are less impressive. On balance this reporting season so far is seeing about twice as many companies disappointing or missing the mark compared to last year.”

Banks contributed nearly 10 points to the index’s rise, partly boosted by Bradford & Bingley’s BB.L comments to investors late on Monday that it remained “comfortable” with funding and liquidity levels. B&B rose 9.7 percent.

The comments lifted fellow mortgage lenders Northern Rock NRK.L, Britain’s most prominent casualty of the global credit squeeze, and Alliance & Leicester ALLL.L. Northern Rock gained 2.4 percent and A&L put on 3.2 percent.

Barclays (BARC.L) added 1.5 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) climbed 1.8 percent.

Miners recovered from sharp losses in the previous session, lifted by firmer metal prices and after BHP Billiton BLT.L, the world’s biggest miner, said its fiscal first-quarter iron ore production was at a record and production of copper swelled 23 percent on a year ago.

BHP advanced 2.3 percent, while Rio Tinto (RIO.L), Anglo American (AAL.L), Xstrata XTA.L, Vedanta Resources VED.L, Kazakhmys (KAZ.L), Lonmin LMI.L and Antofagasta (ANTO.L) also all rose.

M&A BOOSTS

Meanwhile Cairn Energy (CNE.L) jumped 7.5 percent on talk of bid interest from bigger rival BP (BP.L) at 28 pounds per share, traders said.

BP, whose shares rose 1.2 percent, declined to comment and no one at Cairn was immediately available for comment.

In other M&A related news, Smith & Nephew (SN.L) closed up 2.6 percent after traders cited market talk of a takeover bid for the medical device equipment maker. The company declined to comment.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) advanced 1.7 percent. Generic drugmaker Mylan Laboratories MYL.N said it had settled patent litigation with GlaxoSmithKline over Glaxo’s Paxil CR anti-depressant. AstraZeneca (AZN.L) gained 0.9 percent.

But Tesco (TSCO.L) dipped 2.2 percent, while both SABMiller SAB.L and Vodafone (VOD.L) slipped 1.2 percent.

Persimmon (PSN.L) rose 4.2 percent after the housebuilder said it had decided to implement a share buyback programme and purchased 2.38 million pounds worth of shares on Monday.

Additional reporting by Michael Taylor

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