END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares were sharply higher by the close, helped by a strong performance in New York after upbeat jobs data, with financial issues and mining stocks leading the charge in London.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was up 124.98 points at 5,787.28 with the FTSE250 ahead 224.53 points at 11,301.14 and the FTSE Smallcaps 30.26 points better at 3,033.83.
US stocks made strong gains in late morning trade following better-than-expected July jobs data and an improvement in service sector activity.
Approaching the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 227 points at 13,106, the S&P500 gained 27 points at 1,392 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 62 points at 2,972.
Investors threw caution to the wind today, shrugging off yesterday's disappointing response from the ECB. Upbeat news on jobs helped the US markets to strong gains, giving an extra boost to sentiment in London in the afternoon.
Financial stocks were buoyant throughout, with fund manager Schroders continuing to enjoy yesterday's news of rising AUM. Schroder shares added 48p at 1,350p. Peers Hargreaves Lansdown and Ashmore followed the lead, up 27p at 589.5p and 16.1p at 346.1p, respectively.
Aviva was the best of the insurers ahead of interim results next week, rising 21p at 306.2p and topping the leaderboard, while Prudential improved 45.5p at 791.5p and Legal & General added 3.4p at 130p.
Royal Bank of Scotland was the headliner amongst the banks today, with a gain of 11.5p at 216p after half-year results came in better-than-expected. Elsewhere, Barclays climbed 9.05p at 171.35p and Lloyds edged up 1.22p at 30.61p.
A rise in metals prices gave the miners a boost, with Antofagasta amongst the best of them, up 48p at 1,089p. Anglo American advanced 46.5p at 1,900.5p and Rio Tinto gained 120p at 3,030p, while BHP Billiton ticked up 60.5p at 1,918p, despite saying it is taking a $3.29bn charge on its US shale gas and Australian nickel assets following a full-year assessment.
Oil producers improved as crude prices jumped, with Shell ahead 54p at 2,323p, BP up 8.7p at 437.95p and Tullow Oil 47p better at 1,305p.
Supermarket operators were back on the shopping list, with Tesco up 4.85p at 319p, Sainsbury ahead 3.2p at 323.3p and Morrisons 2.1p higher at 277p.
However, DIY specialist Kingfisher was the best of the retail sector, rising 10.2p at 276p.
On the sparse downside, airline group IAG was the worst performer amongst the blue chips, down 6.47p at 151p after revealing a slump to half-year losses as rising fuel costs and weakness in its Iberia operation took their toll.
The only other top-liner to fail to progress was drinks giant Diageo, down 10p at 1,707.5p.
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