London Stock Exchange
Britain's top share index jumped higher on the first trading session of 2013 after U.S. lawmakers approved a deal preventing massive tax hikes and spending cuts, boosting the outlook for the new year.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives late on Tuesday finally approved a bill that will raise taxes on top U.S. earners, fulfilling President Barack Obama's re-election promise and avoiding the "fiscal cliff" of $600 billion (£367.67 billion) in broad-based tax hikes and spending cuts which threatened to drag the U.S. economy into recession.
At 8.08 a.m. British time, the FTSE 100 index was up 86.52 points, or 1.5 percent, at 5,984.50, having ended a thinly traded half-day session on Monday, New Year's Eve down 0.5 percent as traders awaited news on the U.S. fiscal cliff negotiations, reports Reuters.
Asia stocks rose strongly, copper prices hit a two-week high, and Brent crude reached a one-month peak on Wednesday after U.S. lawmakers struck the last-minute budget deal, with upbeat manufacturing data from top commodities consumer China also helping.
China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index held steady in December at 50.6, matching November's seven-month high, adding to evidence that the world's second-largest economy was headed towards steady growth revival.
Miners led the blue-chip gainers, contributing almost 20 points of the FTSE 100's advance, boosted by the jump in commodity prices.
Banks were also in demand, with Barclays the top blue-chip gainer, up 4.8 percent, with traders saying the stock was helped by a price target hike from Investec Securities.