London stock market tops 5,000 points, best since October

London stock market tops 5,000 points, best since October

London: London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading shares climbed above 5,000 points for the first in 11 months on Wednesday as the global economy showed signs of improvement.

The FTSE struck 5,001.51 points, the highest level since 3 October 2008, amid renewed takeover activity and positive British economic data.

Approaching the close of trade, the FTSE settled back a little to stand at 4,991.20 points, a rise of 0.89% compared with Tuesday’s finish.

“Based on current momentum at the moment it (the FTSE) seems very strong and there seems to be, in the short term at least, no stopping the market," said David Jones, chief market strategist at financial betting firm IG Index.

“5,000 is just a bit of a psychological level anyway—what people will be looking for is it reaching more like 5,400, which was last seen in the middle of September (2008)."

The London stock market rose for a third day running on Wednesday, helped by fresh mergers movement involving the food and telecom sectors and owing to rising commodity prices, traders said.

On Monday, British confectioner Cadbury rejected a near 17-billion-dollar bid by US giant Kraft Foods. A day later, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom launched exclusive talks to merge their British units into Britain’s top mobile operator.

Hopes that Britain is heading out of recession were meanwhile fuelled by a raft of positive new economic data released o Wednesday, although doubts remain over how quickly the country will return to growth.

Analysts have been encouraged by new industry data, signs of life in the job and property markets and a rebounding stock market—and one respected think tank said the recession in Britain actually ended in May.

However, most analysts expect unemployment to continue rising and say even when growth resumes, it will be some time before Britain returns to the kind of economic activity seen before the global financial crisis began last year.