The FTSE 100 opened ahead as stronger Chinese manufacturing data pushed markets higher.
China’s manufacturing sector expanded in November for the first time in over a year. Preliminary results from the HSBC China flash purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to a 13-month high, at 50.4, indicating a pick-up in the country’s biggest economic sector.
The figures add to a recovery scenario for China as the country also posted credit growth, rising exports and stronger industrial production in October.
Copper prices rebounded on the better-than-expected figures, to break two consecutive sessions of losses. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange climbed 0.48% to $7,728.75 a tonne.
The FTSE 100 moved up 0.45%, or 26 points, to 5,777 and the Mid-250 index rose 0.28%, or 33 points, to 11,816.
There was also better-than-expected PMI data from France and strong production figures from Germany to boost European markets.
Germany’s DAX index took on 0.68% to 7,233; France's CAC 40 index added 0.47% to 3,494; the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares gained 0.5% to 1,103; and the euro strengthened against the dollar, up 0.26%, to $1.286.
Trading volumes are expected to be low today as US markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, and tomorrow’s session will be shorter.
SABMiller (SAB.L) led the FTSE 100 higher advancing 117p, or 4.5%, to £27.50 after the beer giant posted a 12% increase in first half profit of $2.76 billion (£1.72 billion). Strong growth from Latin America offset a 10% decline in European earnings and its newly acquired Australian brewer Foster’s ‘contributed significantly’ to growth.
Man Group (EMG.L) regained 3p, or 4%, to 76p as the struggling hedge fund group moved $1.5 billion from its flagship AHL fund to an experimental portfolio in order to boost returns. The group also sold for $456 million (£286 million) claims to the estate of defunct US investment bank Lehman Brothers which it obtained with its acquisition of GLG Partners last year.
Gas producer BG Group (BG.L) added 11.5p, or 1.1%, to £10.71, as reports in the Daily Mail speculate that the company could be the target of a takeover bid from Brazilian company Petrobras. BG Group’s shares have fallen 20% since the start of the month when it warned of further production delays.
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