FTSE 100 adds 1.4 percent on session

Both the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 were higher on Wednesday. The 100 added 1.4 percent to 6,314.8, its highest close since January 3, while the 250 was 0.8 percent higher to 11,192.8.

The oil sector gained on the announcement that the United States plans to double the size of its strategic oil reserves by buying an extra 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day, as well as on a report that Dominion Resources, a US company, had received a bid. BP added 0.6 percent to 548½p, while Royal Dutch Shell gained 1.2 percent to £17.39.

Banks were up as well. Alliance & Leicester was 2.6 percent higher to £11.11, while Royal Bank of Scotland gained 2.9 percent to £21.03 and Northern Rock added 4.1 percent to £12.12 on higher profits than expected and record mortgage lending.

In the mining sector, Kazakhmys added 4.8 percent to £11.19 on a positive broker recommendation. Vedanta Resources was 5.8 percent higher to £11.90 on takeover rumors.

Properties groups benefited after the most recent Bank of England meeting minutes were revealed, showing that the vote was very close on the interest rate hike earlier this month. The closeness of the vote brought hope that interest rates would not be going up again soon, a positive sign for the properties market. British Land added 2.9 percent to £16.12, while Liberty International gained 4.4 percent to £13.18.


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