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U.K. Stocks Rally on U.S. Jobs Data; Vedanta Leads the Advance

U.K. stocks climbed, sending the FTSE 100 Index to a 21-month high, as U.S. jobs increased by the most in three years, boosting optimism over the strength of global recovery.

Vedanta Resources Plc and Xstrata Plc led a rally in mining shares as copper rose above $8,000 a metric ton in London for the first time since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in 2008. Tullow Oil Plc gained as crude oil traded above $86 a barrel. Allied Irish Banks Plc jumped 3.3 percent in Dublin amid speculation the lender is planning a sale of assets to avoid majority state ownership.

The FTSE 100 rose 35.46, or 0.6 percent, to 5,780.35. The FTSE All-Share Index climbed 0.7 percent and Ireland’s ISEQ Index advanced 1.5 percent.

“London is feeling the benefit” from the jobs data, said U.K.-based David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index. “Commodity prices are stronger again so the usual clutch of mining suspects dominate” the market.

The FTSE 100 has climbed 6.8 percent this year as central banks maintained record low interest rates and the European Union agreed a rescue plan to help prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt. Since March 3 last year, the gauge has surged 65 percent.

Vedanta Resources, India’s largest copper producer, rallied 2.5 percent to 2,934 pence as the metal advanced in London amid signs that the global recovery is boosting demand.

Economy Watch

Base metals rose as a Labor Department report showed employment in the U.S. rose by 162,000 last month, the most since March 2007. China and the U.S. are the world’s biggest consumers of copper.

Xstrata, the world’s fourth-largest copper producer, increased 1.6 percent to 1,321 pence. Kazakhmys Plc, Kazakhstan’s biggest copper miner, added 3 percent to 1,630 pence.

Tullow Oil rose 2.4 percent to 1,313 pence as crude traded near a 17-month high after separate reports showed growth in U.S. service industries.

In Dublin, Allied Irish gained 3.3 percent to 1.24 euros. The Sunday Times reported the lender is planning a quick sale of assets to raise 5 billion euros by the end of the summer and avoid majority state ownership. The newspaper did not cite anyone.

The following is a list of companies whose shares also rose or fell in the U.K. and Irish markets today. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

Daily Mail & General Trust Plc (DMGT LN) gained 15 pence, or 3 percent, to 522 after JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded the publisher of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper to “overweight” from “neutral.”

EnQuest Plc (ENQ LN), the North Sea oil company formed by assets belonging to Petrofac Plc (PFC LN) and Lundin Petroleum AB, rose to 103.7 pence, up 6.4 percent from an initial price of 97.5 pence on the first day of trading in London. Shares of Petrofac climbed 6.4 percent to 1,265 pence.

Gulfsands Petroleum Plc (GPX LN) gained 8 pence, or 2.4 percent, to 338. The U.K. explorer’s largest shareholder called on the company to open talks with two Indian suitors, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Northgate Plc (NTG LN) rallied 7.5 pence, or 4.1 percent, to 190 after the company announced Chief Executive Steve Smith will step down now from the board instead of waiting until June 30. Paul Tallentire, deputy chief executive, will continue to manage day-to-day operations of the group.

Vodafone Group Plc (VOD LN) slipped 2.05 pence, or 1.4 percent, to 149.65 as the world’s largest mobile-phone company faces a shareholder battle in the Congo. The company’s Congolese unit is seeking a $484 million capital injection in the business through a share sale, a move that the venture’s minority partner, Congo Wireless Networks, or CWN, says would dilute its stake.

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