London markets reclaimed some of their recent losses today thanks to strong earnings and rallying resource stocks, ignoring recent weakness in Asian & New York stocks. The focus was on upbeat results from British Land Co and Yell Group while mining groups and oil companies, which primarily drove recovery, rallied strongly. The FTSE 100 was up 1.3 percent to 5,603.2, bouncing back strongly from the five month lows seen in the previous session, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 was also higher, up 2.8 per cent to 9,075.6. Miners led the drive in the FTSE advance, as Xstrata gained 5 percent to £18.51, BHP Billiton added 5.1 percent to £10.12 and Rio Tinto climbed 4.3 percent to £27.75. British Land Co shares gained 3.9 percent to £12.09 after the group reported a 32 percent increase in annual net asset value per share and announced its decision to convert to Real Estate Investment Trust status from early 2007. Yell Group added 3.6 percent to 479½p after full-year results met expectations. Group revenue increased 26.1 percent to £1.62bn. Marks & Spencer shares fell 3.4 percent to 548p despite news of a recovery at the high street retailer. Annual profit before tax rose 47.6 percent to £745.7m and final dividend per share increased 22.7 percent to 9.2p.
10 year Gilts yields were up two basis points to 4.566% as prices dropped to
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