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FTSE up for 4th session

Source: Reuters - Mon 9th Nov 2009

Leading shares rose 1 percent on Monday, up for the fourth consecutive session, led by heavyweight banks, miners and oils with risk aversion supported as the Group of 20 pledged to keep the aid flowing.

By 9:01 a.m., the FTSE 100 was up 47.25 points or 0.9 percent higher at 5189.97, after the index closed up 0.3 percent at 5142.72 on Friday for a weekly gain of 2 percent, its best weekly performance for a month.

With little in the way of domestic economic or corporate news to guide investors Monday, shares took their cue from Asia, where shares outside Japan added 1 percent.

"The corporate story will unfold as the week goes on with investors following good figures from the U.S. last week and the expectation of better performances from Barclays and HSBC on Tuesday" said Richard Hunter, Head of UK equities at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Miners led the way as metal prices continued to soar on the increasing optimism on the outlook for demand, with gold remaining above the $1,100 level after hitting an all-time high on Friday.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, who have previously been involved in takeover discussions, rose 2.5 and 2.4 percent respectively.

Anglo American PLC gained 2.1 percent while ENRC, Kazakhmys, Lonmin and Fresnillo FRSE.L climbed 1.7 to 2.9 percent.

Energy issues were also in positive territory as crude hovered around the $80 a barrel level, while the price of long-term oil futures crept towards the $100 mark. 

Heavyweights BP, BG and Royal Dutch Shell RDSA.L rose 1 to 1.4 percent.


Banks were broadly positive as G20 financial leaders agreed it was too early to pull the plug on economic support for a fragile economic recovery.

But they failed to agree over the management of the global financial industry as Britain urged world governments to consider a levy on banks to fund future bailouts.

Royal Bank of Scotland extended Friday gains, which followed its third-quarter results, rising 2.5 percent, while Barclays was up 1.9 percent ahead of its numbers due on Tuesday.

HSBC rose 0.4 percent but Standard Chartered and Lloyds Banking Group lagged, falling 0.4 and 0.8 percent respectively.

Life insurers were in demand as takeover speculation swept through the sector after Europe's second-largest insurer AXA SA unveiled a planned $7 billion (4.2 billion pound) buy-out of its Asian assets and sale of its Australian assets to local rival AMP Ltd.

The sector was helped by ING which raised its price targets on European insurers.

Aviva, which ING rates as "buy" and raised its target price to 523 pence from 434 pence, topped the gainers up 4.7 percent. 

Legal and General, Standard Life, Aviva and Old Mutual rose 1.7 to 2.2 percent.

Prudential was the strongest insurer, up 4.4 percent with traders saying French peer AXA's decision to buy out its Asian shares highlights the value of Prudential's own Asian businesses.

In individual stocks, investors are eagerly awaiting news from Kraft which has until 5 p.m. British time Monday to make its formal takeover bid for Cadbury, the British confectionery group, or walk away for six months.

Cadbury shares added 0.8 percent in early trade.

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