FTSE rallies as Mubarak steps down

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The FTSE 100 rose 42.89 points to close at 6062.9

The London market leapt ahead on the news that Hosni Mubarak had resigned as president of Egypt and handed control to the military.

The FTSE 100 Index, which spent most of the day in the red, surged 42.89 points to 6062.9 after Egyptian vice president Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV.

Earlier in the session, trading was dampened by uncertainty over the political unrest in the North African country, but sentiment rebounded when the premier stepped down.

Oil stocks pushed ahead with Tullow Oil finishing top of the index, up nearly 4% or 53p at 1452p and BG Group not far behind, moving up 51.5p at 1524p.

The pound slipped against the dollar at 1.59 and euro at 1.18 as traders await further clarity from the Bank of England as to when an interest rate hike might occur, after policymakers on Thursday held rates for the 23rd consecutive month.

High street giants Next and Marks & Spencer failed to see any turnaround, heading the FTSE 100 fallers board as investor nerves grew over the twin threat of rising prices and weak demand.

Next and M&S fell 63p to 2000p and 3.6p to 368p respectively, followed by B&Q parent Kingfisher not far behind, down 1.2p to 251.8p.

In the supermarket sector, Bradford-based Morrisons was the biggest faller with a drop of 1.3p to 276.7p.

Drinks giant Diageo put back some of Thursday’s post-results fall with a rise of 11p to 1208.6p.

Insurer Legal & General rose to the top of the Footsie risers board, adding 3.9p to 122.7p after a bullish note on the sector from Nomura, saying the market is underestimating the growth potential of L&G’s asset management operations.

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