LONDON (Reuters) - Gains in major bank stocks led Britain’s benchmark equity index higher on Monday, and troubled supermarket group Tesco rose after new board appointments.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which fell to its lowest closing level in nearly a year last week, closed up by 0.6 percent, or 35.74 points, at 6,563.65 points.
“I still think that last week’s downturn was another opportunity to buy, coming into the final quarter of the year,” said Novum Securities’ technical strategist Adrian Slack.
Banks added the most points to the FTSE.
Global lenders HSBC and Standard Chartered, which have large exposure to Hong Kong, rose as civil unrest there eased, while Barclays’ analysts forecast better times ahead for both banks.
Tesco, reeling from an accounting scandal, advanced by 2.7 percent as analysts welcomed the appointment of two non-executive directors to strengthen its boardroom.
“Non-executive directors rarely put pennies into the tills, but in this instance we welcome the joint appointments and hope that it represents the recommencement of more effective governance of Tesco,” said Shore Capital analyst Clive Black.
Strand Capital managing director Kyri Kangellaris said the FTSE, which is down 2.5 percent since the start of 2014, had the potential to rebound around 300 points from now until the end of the year.
“We could have a shaky few weeks, but I think there is good upside from here,” he said.
Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa and Tricia Wright; Editing by John Stonestreet/Ruth Pitchford