FTSE climbs on US data

BRITAIN’S blue chip index rose yesterday, building on two straight sessions of gains as strong consumer confidence data from the United States offset renewed concerns about the Eurozone debt crisis.

The FTSE 100 added 24.24 points, or 0.5 per cent, to close at 5,337 after turning higher in the afternoon, when data showed US consumer confidence rose much more than expected in November.

The reading, which came on the heels of encouraging sales data for the Thanksgiving period, boosted stocks with high exposure to the US, such as Wolseley, the world’s biggest building supplies maker, which climbed 2.1 per cent.

On the other hand, stocks exposed to UK consumer spending fell after the British government cut its economic growth forecasts and suggested tough austerity measures would extend beyond the next election due in 2015.

Home improvements retailer Kingfisher fell 1.2 per cent with consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser down 0.3 per cent.