Reuters - Hot Stocks

FTSE reaches two-month high after China cuts rates

* Blue-chip FTSE 100 index gains 1.5 percent

* China’s central bank cuts interest rates

* Miners rally on further stimulus measures

* TalkTalk falls after cyber attack (Recasts, adds quote and updates prices)

By Kit Rees and Atul Prakash

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s top share index hit a two-month high on Friday, spurred by international monetary stimulus after China cut interest rates and as investors bet on further easing from the European Central Bank.

The People’s Bank of China also cut the reserve requirement ratio for most big banks.

“It’s clearly a response to concerns that the rebalancing of the economy away from manufacturing and exports towards consumption isn’t going to be a matter of flicking a switch, it’s not going to be smooth,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up 1.5 percent at 6,472.29 points by 1158 GMT, hitting its highest level since Aug. 19.

ECB chief Mario Draghi’s comments on Thursday also cheered investors anticipating that much of the liquidity will find its way into stocks.

“Any stimulus by the Chinese is met by some positivity in equities. It’s just a cherry on the top to Mario Draghi’s comments yesterday,” Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, said.

Miners were the top gainers, with Glencore surging nearly 7 percent and Anglo American, BHP Billiton , Antofagasta and Rio Tinto all rising between 2.6 percent to 3.5 percent after the move by China, the world’s biggest consumer of metals.

The UK mining index rose nearly 3.7 percent, set for its biggest daily gain in two weeks.

Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins, which slumped on a disappointing earnings update on Thursday, rose 4.6 percent on bargain-hunting, traders said. Shares in the owner of DIY stores Wickes and heating supplies group BSS fell 6 percent in the previous session on comments that its full-year earnings would be at the lower end of market expectations.

On the downside, shares in William Hill fell more than 8 percent after the mid-cap British bookmaker said it expected full-year operating profit to be near the lower end of analysts’ expectations following a weak third quarter.

TalkTalk, another FTSE 250 company, fell 4 percent after saying that a “significant and sustained” cyber attack on its website could involve the theft of private data from all of the broadband supplier’s more than 4 million customers.

“These things are becoming more common, it’s very difficult to guard against it … these companies will have to up their game a bit,” Richard Griffiths, associate director at Berkeley Futures Limited, said. (Editing by David Goodman/Ruth Pitchford)

Reuters: Hot Stocks

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