Oils, miners lift FTSE to near 7-yr closing high | business | Hindustan Times
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Oils, miners lift FTSE to near 7-yr closing high

business Updated: May 19, 2007 00:46 IST

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Britain's FTSE 100 index rose nearly 1 per cent to its highest close since September 2000 on Friday as oil shares surged on talk of sector consolidation and miners gained on firmer metal prices.

The FTSE 100 index was little affected by the announcement of China's central bank to let its yuan currency trade more freely and raise borrowing costs to rein in the booming economy. The move prompted the yen to jump sharply against the euro and dollar.

The UK benchmark index closed up 61.6 points, or 0.94 per cent at 6,640.9, for a weekly gain of 1.1 per cent. European shares also finished higher. "You can't keep a good market down. The whole world wants to buy," said Tom Hougaard, chief market strategist at City Index Markets.

"This feels like people aren't getting enough of stocks at the moment. I think a lot of this is driven by people who have taken short positions. They are forced to cover these positions."

Commodity shares contributed 52 per cent of the index's gains on firmer metal prices and on speculation of a possible tie-up between BP and Royal Dutch Shell. Both BP and Shell declined to comment.