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Dec. 6, 2010, 11:56 a.m. EST

FTSE 100 gains, led by BP, Cairn Energy

Retailer Tesco comes under pressure after UBS downgrade

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By Aude Lagorce, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Britain’s benchmark stock index ended with gains on Monday, led higher by oil giant BP PLC and other energy stocks.

The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -1.07%  rose 24.96 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 5,770.28 after fluctuating between small gains and losses for most of the day.

The benchmark closed down 0.4% on Friday but managed to snap a three-week losing streak, clocking weekly gains of 1.4%.

A lack of direction was obvious as Monday rolled in.

“We’re stuck in a bit of a limbo. There was a lot of excitement last week with some big U.S. data and the potential for more action from the European Central Bank. We’re not living in quite as exciting times this week,” said Philip Isherwood, strategist at Evolution Securities.

He stressed, however, that he is optimistic about U.K. equities in 2011.

“A lot of people have had a lot of reasons to allocate towards bonds and ignore the incredibly positive message from U.K. companies recently. But they are growing, hiring, doing deals. Equities are still the best way to play the economic cycle and the double-dip scenario has been increasingly discredited by the recent data,” he added.

Energy companies got a boost as oil traded near $90 a barrel.

Shares of BP PLC   /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -1.18%  rallied 3.4% and BG Group PLC  climbed 2.6%.

Cairn Energy PLC /zigman2/quotes/206606447/delayed UK:CNE -0.75%  rose 2.6%.

Vodafone in focus

Another stock in the limelight Monday was Vodafone Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/202484985/delayed UK:VOD -1.86%   /zigman2/quotes/202862751/composite VOD -2.96% . Shares of the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue gained 0.6%. The Observer reported that Vodafone is finalizing a deal to sell its 44% stake in French mobile operator SFR to co-owner Vivendi SA /zigman2/quotes/202179234/delayed FR:VIV -1.18% .

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Retailers declined, led by supermarket giant Tesco /zigman2/quotes/203761082/delayed UK:TSCO -4.38% , which fell 1.6% after it was downgraded to neutral from buy at UBS.

The broker said U.K. growth is likely to be slower over the next decade and warned that international opportunities, including in China, wouldn’t be enough to maintain the pace of expansion. Tesco reports third-quarter sales Tuesday.

The gloomy forecast weighed on other retailers. Shares of rival J Sainsbury PLC /zigman2/quotes/206038250/delayed UK:SBRY -0.46%  fell 1.2% and WM Morrison Supermarkets  declined 0.3%.

In the banking sector, HSBC Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/203901799/delayed UK:HSBA -1.37%   edged up 0.1%, even as it emerged the trustee seeking money for victims of Bernard Madoff’s fraud is suing the U.K. bank and a group of feeder funds for at least $9 billion.

A few outperformers were to be found in the mining sector, as shares of Xstrata PLC  rallied 3.4%.

Rio Tinto PLC /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO -1.79%   /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -3.32% rose 0.9%. Australia’s Riversdale Mining  said it held talks with Rio Tinto on a potential A$3.5 billion ($3.45 billion) takeover.

Outside the top index, shares of De La Rue PLC /zigman2/quotes/206574260/delayed UK:DLAR +1.78%   surged nearly 30% after the banknote printer said it has received a “highly preliminary and opportunistic” approach.

The statement came after Sky News reported that the company had rejected a 750 million euro ($997 million) bid from French smartcard specialist Oberthur Technologies.

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,438.09
-80.26 -1.07%
Volume: 0.00
May 18, 2022 4:51p
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/zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 31.11
-0.37 -1.18%
Volume: 11.21M
May 18, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
4.15%
Market Cap
$101.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.62M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206606447/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
£ 199.50
-1.50 -0.75%
Volume: 2.61M
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
1.54
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
£635.18 million
Rev. per Employee
£174,446
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202484985/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
118.06 p
-2.24 -1.86%
Volume: 77.74M
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.46%
Market Cap
£33.90 billion
Rev. per Employee
£373,308
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202862751/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 14.74
-0.45 -2.96%
Volume: 7.51M
May 18, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.87%
Market Cap
$42.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$510,677
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202179234/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
10.91
-0.13 -1.18%
Volume: 3.56M
May 18, 2022 5:35p
P/E Ratio
0.46
Dividend Yield
2.29%
Market Cap
€11.55 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203761082/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
266.10 p
-12.20 -4.38%
Volume: 27.60M
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
13.70
Dividend Yield
4.10%
Market Cap
£21.03 billion
Rev. per Employee
£167,714
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/zigman2/quotes/206038250/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
239.00 p
-1.10 -0.46%
Volume: 10.89M
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
8.30
Dividend Yield
5.48%
Market Cap
£5.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203901799/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
495.50 p
-6.90 -1.37%
Volume: 23.32M
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
12.04
Dividend Yield
4.07%
Market Cap
£101.03 billion
Rev. per Employee
£200,552
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
5,372.00 p
-98.00 -1.79%
Volume: 2.02M
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
5.72
Dividend Yield
10.75%
Market Cap
£90.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
£935,616
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 66.67
-2.29 -3.32%
Volume: 2.55M
May 18, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.13
Dividend Yield
11.88%
Market Cap
$112.87 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.29M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206574260/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
114.20 p
+2.00 +1.78%
Volume: 248,320
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
15.73
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£218.97 million
Rev. per Employee
£177,267
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Aude Lagorce is a senior correspondent for MarketWatch in London.

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