Confidence in the UK economy took a blow after it failed to emerge from a recession in the third quarter.
But an indication from a retail bellwether that consumer demand may be picking up brought cash into consumer stock on the London stock Exchange Wednesday.
Marks & Spencer , which sells products ranking from clothes to household products to food, reported a first-half operating profit of 298.3 million pounds ($491.3 million), topping expectations of earning of 285 million pounds.
Shares of M&S rose more than 5 percent at the start of trading to make it one of the leaders on the FTSE-100. In addition, retailers such as fashion chains Next and Burberry , supermarket J. Sainsbury and Home Retail Group also rose.