London FTSE ends higher with eyes on France

AFP
The FTSE 100 index rose 0.12 percent to 6,800.65 points in early trade
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The FTSE 100 index rose 0.12 percent to 6,800.65 points in early trade (AFP Photo/Leon Neal)

London (AFP) - London's leading share index ended higher Tuesday as traders returned to their desks following the bank holiday weekend, keeping half an eye on the expected appointment of a new French government.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 gained 0.70 percent to end on 6,822.76 points.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index jumped 1.18 percent to close at 4,393.41 points just hours before the expected announcement of a new government.

The country was plunged into crisis by the collapse of the government on Monday, provoked by a speech by Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg attacking French, German and eurozone budget policies.

In London, International Consolidated Airlines Group was the leading blue-chip riser, adding 3.5 percent to 358.1 pence, followed by Irish building supplies group CRH, which bounced back from Friday's losses to add 2.97 percent at 1,420.

The day's worst performer was Chile-based copper miner Antofagasta, dipping 1.18 percent at 798.5, followed by pharmaceuticals firm Reckitt Benckiser, which fell 1.04 percent to 5,210 pence.

Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) was the most traded stock by volume, seeing 106.53 million shares change hands, followed by Vodafone with 43.74 million.

On the currency markets, the pound was trading at $1.6567 at 5:15pm, fractionally down from $1.6577 at around the same time Friday, while it climbed to 1.2556 euros from 1.2520 over the same period.

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