FTSE closes up on US Fed’s growth plans

BRITAIN’S blue-chip index rose 1.3 per cent yesterday after the US Federal Reserve pledged to support economic growth, boosting miners and other cyclicals stocks and setting the index on course for another week of gains.

The FTSE 100 rose 72.20 points to 5,795.20, although the index failed to close above a key technical resistance at 5,800, a bearish signal that points to possible consolidation in coming days.

Having risen 1.2 per cent since Monday, Britain’s blue-chip gauge is on track to record a fifth week of gains out of the last six.

Buyers piled into equities as the prospect of a prolonged period of low interest rates and possible quantitative easing in the United States threatened to dilute the value of cash and returns from bonds.

Miners provided the biggest boost to the index, rising 4.2 per cent on expectations the Fed’s supportive stance would stimulate demand for industrial metals, such as copper.

Gold mining specialists such as Randgold and Fresnillo rose between four per cent and five per cent as investors bought the yellow metal as a hedge against a weakening dollar.

The sector also found support after Anglo American, Lonmin, Petropavlovsk and Kazakhmys all reported solid output figures.