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London market.

A STRONG run for mining stocks helped the FTSE 100 Index push above the 5950 mark yesterday for the first time since June, 2008.

The London market closed 60.2 points up, at 5951.8 - despite a warning from key agency Moody's that it may lower Portugal's credit rating. The blow comes just days after a similar move by the credit ratings agency on Spain.

The pound fell against the dollar at 1.54, and was down against the euro at 1.17 after UK public finance figures came in much worse than expected at pounds 23.3bn in November - a monthly record. But higher metal and oil prices boosted commodity stocks, while banking giants also made decent gains following a poor run sparked by fears of European debt contagion.

Royal Bank of Scotland finished at the top of the risers' board, up more than 4% or 1.7p to 40.2p, while Barclays added 7.4p to 268.4p. Lloyds, which spooked investors on Friday after it highlighted the impact of Ireland's mounting debt crisis on its books, also made headway, up 1.6p to 68.5p.

Miners likewise dominated the risers' board, with Anglo American up 131p to 3272.5p, Xstrata up 51p to 1506p and Eurasian Natural Resources ahead 31.5p, to 1031p.

The biggest Footsie risers were Royal Bank of Scotland, up 1.8p at 40.2p, Anglo American, ahead 131p at 3272.5p, Carnival, up 104p at 2905p and Xstrata, ahead 51p, at 1506p. The biggest Footsie fallers were Aggreko, down 46p at 1524p, Randgold Resources, off 110p at 5490p, Cairn Energy, down 5.3p at 415p and BG Group, off 14.5p, at 1317p.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 22, 2010
Words:280
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