FTSE continues upward surge - London Report

THE BENCHMARK FTSE 100 rose nearly two per cent yesterday as trading resumed after the Easter weekend.

Shares around the world have been boosted by hopes that the US Federal Reserve will push back rate rises following weak American jobs data last week.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index closed up 128.31 points, or 1.88 per cent, at 6,961.77.

That was better than a 1.5 per cent rise for the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, as European stock markets reopened after Easter weekend and caught up with gains on Wall Street on Monday.

Oil-related shares saw big gains following a sharp rise in the price of crude on Monday.

BG Group rose 6.7 per cent while Premier Oil jumped 13 per cent. Royal Dutch Shell rose 3.86 per cent.

But the rise in oil costs hit shares in airlines, with British Airways owner IAG down 1.2 per cent.

Shares in Royal Mail rose 1.3 per cent to 448p following news that Dutch parcels delivery firm TNT Express had agreed to be bought by US firm FedEx.

The takeover has raised speculation that there could be more deals in the sector.