U.S. News

Glance-Banks help FTSE jump on euro zone relief package

By Jon Hopkins LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - Britain's leading share index scored its biggest one-day percent rise in nearly 18 months on Monday as the $1 trillion euro zone rescue package doused concerns of EU debt defaults and further economic dislocation. Bank stocks, which plunged last week on their exposure to debts of Greece and other EU states, led the advance as the FTSE 100 index leapt 264.40 points or 5.2 percent to 5,387.42, its biggest one-day percentage advance since Dec. 8 2008. That late 2008 advance was after a big U.S. economic stimulus package from U.S. President Barack Obama, coupled with prospects for a $15 billion plan to bail out automakers. The FTSE 100 index had dropped 7.7 percent last week. "It's something of a relief rally after the recent sharp falls, with investors' nerves soothed by the big rescue package," said Mic Mills, senior trader at ETX Capital. "With debt crisis fears allayed rather than slayed, and British election uncertainties still overhanging the market, nervous and volatile conditions will persist," Mills said. Banks were the biggest blue chip gainers, with Barclays , HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered jumping between 6.8 and 16.2 percent. The rescue deal, hammered out by European Union finance ministers, central bankers and the International Monetary Fund in talks at the weekend, was the largest package in over two years since G20 leaders threw money at the global economy following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Meanwhile, Britain's Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said they made progress in talks to reach a power-sharing deal after an inconclusive election that has left markets looking for a swift end to political deadlock. Spokesmen for both parties refused to comment on a Sky News report that an outline deal had been reached. Mining stocks were also in favour as the rescue plan lifted sentiment across markets and base metals prices firmed, with Kazakhmys, Eurasian Natural Resources, Xstrata and BHP Billiton up 6.3 to 10.7 percent. Vedanta Resources climbed 10.2 percent after the India-focused mining group bought Anglo American's zinc assets for $1.34 billion to boost its exposure to the metal. Anglo American's shares added 10 percent. Lonmin added 5.8 percent. The world's third biggest platinum producer swung to a first-half profit after metal prices rebounded and costs fell, overshadowing a plan to issue shares to help fund a business in South Africa. Randgold Resources, however, missed out on the sector advance, shedding 1.0 percent reflecting a weaker gold price. BP was the only other FTSE 100 faller, losing 0.9 percent after saying the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has cost it $350 million so far, suggesting a run-rate of cash far higher than some analysts had predicted. Other integrated oil stocks were lifted by a rebound in crude prices. Royal Dutch Shell added 3.1 percent, while BG Group, up 5.2 percent, was also aided by upgrades from both UBS and ING. BG is to pay $950 million to buy a 50 percent stake in shale gas assets in Appalachia from EXCO. (Editing by David Holmes) Keywords: MARKETS BRITAIN STOCKS/CLOSE * For related prices, Reuters Terminal users may click on - * UK stock report FTSE index: techMARK 100 index: FTSE futures: Gilt futures: Smallcap index: FTSE 250 index: FTSE 350 index: Market digest: Top 10 by vol: Top price gainers: Top % gainers: Top price losers: Top % losers: * For related news, click on - * UK hot stocks: Wall Street: Gilts report: Euro bond report Pan European stock report: Tokyo stocks: HK stocks: Sterling report: Dollar report: * For company prices, click on - * Company directory: By sector: * For market commentary, click on * For pan-European market data and news, click on - * Daily European stocks report........................ European Equities speed guide................ FTSE Eurofirst 300 index......................... DJ STOXX index................................... Top 10 STOXX sectors........................ Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors................... Top 10 Eurofirst 300 sectors................ Top 25 European pct gainers.................... Top 25 European pct losers..................... Keywords: MARKETS BRITAIN STOCKS =2 (jon.hopkins@reuters.com; +44 207 542 8954; Reuters Messaging:jon.hopkins.reuters.com@reuters.net) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.