UK listed shares
put in a fairly decent gain on Thursday after positive updates from a number of blue chips and despite oil stocks sliding.
The FTSE 100 closed 24.41 points higher at 6,635.45.
Oil stocks declined further after the price of Brent crude oil
slipped below $80 per barrel for the first time since September 2010 on the back of a slowing Chinese economy and stubborn remarks from key producing country officials ahead of the next OPEC summit.
"US indices continue to provide strength from which the UK and Europe can draw to gain further ground, although the DAX's drop below 9,300 will have a few traders fretting that divergences between the economies of the Eurozone and the US will continue to make themselves felt," IG market analyst Chris Beauchamp said.
"Even so, a few calming words from Mario Draghi could easily allow Europe to make up the gap, as we continue to await an early Christmas present from the European Central Bank."
Over in the States, the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits in the week ended 8 November rose by 12,000, the biggest increase in two months, to a seasonally adjusted 290,000.
Analysts had expected claims to rise to 280,000 from 278,000 and even though the current figure exceeded estimates, it marked the ninth consecutive week since jobless claims rose above the 300,000 threshold.
Meanwhile, the four-week average of new claims climbed by 6,000 to 285,000 in October.
London Stock Exchange climbs after strong first half
London Stock Exchange was a strong riser after it revealed first-half growth across all its business areas as it moved ahead of schedule to complete the acquisition of US index compiler and asset manager Russell Investments.
Peroni and Grolsch maker SABMiller moved higher despite missing analysts' forecasts by reporting flat operating profits in the first half. However, the company said operating profits would have risen by 3% when adjusted for currency movements.
ITV also rose after saying revenue growth accelerated in the third quarter as the TV group continued to generate television advertising revenues ahead of the market.
BSkyB, which has changed its name to Sky, fell after going ex-dividend.
On the second tier, Electrocomponents declined after it was announced that chief executive Ian Mason will step down at the end of the financial year. Mason, who has been chief of the FTSE 250 group for the past 13 years, said his decision followed the successful implementation of the group's 2012 strategy to increase market share and sales growth rates.
techMARK 2,855.11 +0.73%
FTSE 100 6,635.45 +0.37%
FTSE 250 15,631.89 +0.18%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Carnival (CCL) 2,606.00p +2.76%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 413.50p +2.28%
ITV (ITV) 205.10p +2.24%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 176.80p +2.20%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,876.00p +2.17%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 420.00p +2.04%
Sage Group (SGE) 388.50p +1.97%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,724.00p +1.89%
3i Group (III) 409.70p +1.86%
Wolseley (WOS) 3,455.00p +1.83%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 464.00p -5.84%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,176.00p -2.11%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,273.00p -2.03%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,155.00p -2.00%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 846.00p -1.46%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 850.50p -1.39%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,123.00p -1.32%
BP (BP.) 429.95p -0.91%
Standard Life (SL.) 401.60p -0.81%
BG Group (BG.) 1,028.50p -0.44%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Supergroup (SGP) 846.00p +6.42%
Rank Group (RNK) 161.00p +5.99%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 321.00p +4.49%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 378.80p +3.84%
Telecity Group (TCY) 800.50p +3.69%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 185.50p +3.06%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 375.40p +2.88%
Synthomer (SYNT) 202.70p +2.53%
Bodycote (BOY) 633.00p +2.51%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 249.00p +2.51%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Electrocomponents (ECM) 206.50p -12.02%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 107.40p -9.82%
Rexam (REX) 451.10p -6.27%
Afren (AFR) 72.40p -5.67%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 70.00p -4.96%
Lonmin (LMI) 181.10p -3.41%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 482.00p -3.41%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 179.90p -3.28%
Countrywide (CWD) 432.70p -2.98%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 92.35p -2.94%