M&S adds sparkle to FTSE after good corporate results - London Report

BRITAIN’S top share index advanced yesterday, as reassur­ing corporate reports helped to counteract modest weakness in commodity-related stocks.

Ahead of this week’s meetings of the Bank of England and European Central Bank and Friday’s US jobs data, the FTSE 100 finished 1.32 per cent higher at 6539.14 points.

Marks & Spencer soared 9.74 per cent to 444.10p after better than expected results. Rival Next rose 1.01 per cent to 6,505p and Primark owner Associated British Foods added 5.71 per cent to 2,942p.

Oil shares recovered after their recent slippage as crude prices headed higher, with Brent up one per cent to $83.73 a barrel. Royal Dutch Shell A shares rose 1.17 per cent to 2,164p and BP was 2.27 per cent better at 440.15p.

Shares in aircraft parts manufact­urer Meggitt rose 7.55 per cent to 473.20p, even as it cut its expect­ations for 2015.

Meggitt blamed delays in the US military market and financial difficulties being faced by its partner in Brazil.