U.K. stocks advanced for a second day, extending the benchmark FTSE 100 Index (UKX)’s biggest back-to- back weekly rally since September, amid speculation that the global economic recovery is strengthening.
Fresnillo Plc (FRES), the world’s largest primary silver producer, rallied 2.9 percent as silver advanced to the highest price since 1980. Aggreko Plc (AGK) surged 5.3 percent after saying it will supply Tokyo Electric Power Co. with emergency power, after the Japanese utility’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The FTSE 100 rose 7.06, or 0.1 percent, to 6,016.98 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London. The measure rallied 1.9 percent last week as better-than-forecast U.S. jobs data boosted optimism in the global economic recovery. The FTSE All-Share Index (ASX) increased 0.2 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index added 0.4 percent.
“Last week’s U.S. data will have helped dispel some of the recent concerns on the strength of the underlying economy,” said Graham Bishop, a London-based European equity strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “We continue to believe the economic cycle is supportive of equity markets, and see continued appeal in developed markets.”
The FTSE 100 has climbed to within 1.5 percent of this year’s highest level as concern eased that Japan’s strongest earthquake on record and revolts in the Middle East and north Africa will curb global economic growth. The gauge has soared 71 percent, or 87 percent including reinvested dividends, since its March 2009 low as the global economy recovered from recession and corporate profits beat estimates.
Fresnillo jumped 2.9 percent to 1,611 pence as the price of silver rallied.
Aggreko Plc surged 5.3 percent to 1,678 pence after saying it will supply Tokyo Electric Power Co. with 200 megawatts of emergency power, both diesel- and gas-fired.
Tesco gained 1.2 percent to 393.8 pence as Credit Suisse Group AG advised buying shares of the U.K.’s largest supermarket chain before the company reports 2010 earnings on April 19.
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