The blue-chip FTSE 100 recorded its best weekly increase since early October. The UK equity index closed 0.1 percent higher on Friday at 6,334.63 points.
The index gained 3.5 percent this week – the best weekly gain in over a month. It was boosted by a robust opening in the US, where the Dow gained 156 points, or 0.9%, at 17,889.
Mining stocks performed significantly well after zinc prices rose 4 percent – on news that Chinese smelters will cut output next year. Copper and aluminium also rose, up 0.5 percent and 1.6 percent respectively.
Imperial Tobacco was one of the top of the risers. Shares in the multinational tobacco group rose 1.8 percent, with trading volume reaching 200 percent of its 90-day daily average.
FTSE 100 monthly chart:
Source: London Stock Exchange
Mikevan Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets, was quoted by Yahoo Finance UK as saying:
“Imperial Tobacco … has registered fresh all-time highs on speculation that rival British American Tobacco has been courting bankers about financing for a full takeover,”
“Nonetheless, gains are relatively modest for the supposed prey and well back from their highs of the day, given that talk of a deal has become rather perennial with suggestions from prior years being aired with increasing regularity in 2015.”
Royal Mail rose 2.5 percent following a 5 percent increase in the previous session after the company delivered robust performance in the six months ended Sept. 27 and projected further cost cuts.
Airlines were hit by the Islamist militant attack on a luxury hotel in Mali. Shares in easyJet and Ryanair dropped 1.7 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. British Airways owner IAG fell by nearly 1 percent.
The biggest loser in the index was G4S, down 3% to 219p.
The FTSE 100 is about 4 percent down since the start of the year and 10% lower than a record high it reached in April of 7,122.74 points.