FTSE hits new five-year highs

The FTSE 100 index was up 0.5 per cent at 6,470.67 at 8.10am, a fresh five-year high.

Atif Latif, director of trading at Guardian Stockbrokers, said many investors, heartened by data earlier in the week showing U.S. private employers hired more workers than expected in February, are sitting on 'long' positions to bet on more gains.

"We may see some profit-taking closer to the (jobs data) but we think that the uptrend on the FTSE with a good number will remain intact," said Latif, who did not anticipate a strong reaction after the data, but ultimately targeted 6,550.

(Reuters)

The index is still well below its all time high of 6,930, set in 1999.