FTSE 100 books 11th day of gains

THE FTSE 100 rose for the 11th session in a row yesterday as investors remained optimistic over the recent flow of strong corporate news and reassuring economic data. <br /><br />The index matched its longest sustained run on record, last seen between late December 2003 and early January 2004. <br /><br />The FTSE 100 was up 9.52 points, or 0.2 per cent at 4,586.13, hitting its highest closing level since 5 January.<br /><br />The index has risen 11 per cent over the past two weeks on better-than-expected US corporate earnings.<br /><br />Oil firms BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Tullow Oil and miners Antofagasta, Anglo American and BHP Billiton all made gains of between 0.5 and 4.4 per cent. Publisher Pearson was the top gainer of the day, advancing 12.1 per cent.<br /><br />In the US, stocks also edged higher at the end of a choppy session on Wall Street as investors were torn between a surprising increase in new home sales, and weaker earnings reports from the health insurance, telecoms and retail sectors. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 15.27 points, or 0.17 per cent, to close at 9,108.51.