By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) — Resource firms rose in London on Thursday after Chinese manufacturing data pointed to the best level in seven months, while Shire PLC rallied after lifting its full-year guidance.
The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.45% climbed 0.6% to 6,713.18, marking the highest closing level since May.
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The gain came as Chinese data pointed to a continued recovery in the country’s manufacturing sector. HSBC’s “flash” reading of October’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to a seven-month high of 50.9, up from September’s final reading of 50.2, though it remained just below the Chinese government’s own PMI, which hit 51.1 last month.
Mining firms and oil companies, which tend to rise on upbeat growth indications from China, posted gains in London after the data. Shares of Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES +2.11% added 2.8%, Vedanta Resources PLC gained 2.2%, BHP Billiton PLC /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -0.92% /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -1.25% rose 1.4% and Rio Tinto PLC /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO -0.41% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -2.03% /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -0.84% climbed 0.5%.
Kazakhmys PLC /zigman2/quotes/208098927/delayed UK:KAZ +0.22% rose 5.4% after the miner said ore extraction rates rose 6% in the first nine months of the year.
Among other notable movers in London, shares of Shire jumped 9.3% after the pharmaceutical firm raised its 2013 guidance as it reported a 22% rise in net profit.
Aberdeen Asset Management PLC rallied 5.8% after the investment firm confirmed it is in discussions with Lloyds Banking Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/202285510/delayed UK:LLOY -1.82% /zigman2/quotes/200709414/composite LYG -4.31% regarding a possible acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. Shares of Lloyds rose 2.8%.
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC gained 2.6% after signing an oil-rig-equipment contract worth around 22 million pounds ($35.6 million).
On a more downbeat note in London, shares of Sports Direct International PLC dropped 3.8% after Mike Ashley sold £106 million worth of shares in the company he founded 30 years ago. The sold stake represents 2.7% of the issued share capital of the retailer.
Outside the main index in London, Debenhams PLC slid 8.8% after the retail chain reported a 2.7% drop in full-year pretax profit and said conditions had been “very difficult” through the year.
Ophir Energy PLC surged 9.1% after the oil and gas explorer said it may sell part of its interest in three gas fields in Tanzania.