STRENGTH in commodity stocks and a rally for Asian markets helped the FTSE 100 Index start the week in positive territory today.
The Nikkei and Hang Seng rose by more than 2% overnight as traders decided that the US Federal Reserve’s move to pull one of its emergency supports for the financial system was an encouraging sign for the US economy.
The Fed’s surprise move also caused volatility in London on Friday until a late session rally left the FTSE 100 Index 33 points higher by the close. It added another 6.9 points at 5365 in quiet trading today.
Miners benefited from the improved economic sentiment as Kazakhmys lifted 34p to 1369p and Vedanta Resources cheered 75p to 2629p.
Outsourcing and distribution firm Bunzl topped the risers board as annual results showing improved margins and a 6% rise in annual profits meant its shares gained 21.5p to 674.5p, or 3%.
Outside the top flight, shares in support services group VT rose another 3% as speculation centred on the prospect of a bumper payout to its shareholders in an attempt to fight off bid rival Babcock International. Shares jumped 18p to 666.5p.