Banks Lift FTSE 100 to Second Day of Gains

U.K.’s FTSE 100 index rose for a second straight day on Wednesday, with investors taking a cue from an upbeat session in Europe and solid gains in the U.S the prior day.

The benchmark UK:UKX +0.86%  rose 0.8% to 6,153.18, adding to a 1.2% gain from Tuesday.

Shares of Legal & General PLC UK:LGEN +2.30%  climbed 2.5% after the insurance firm said it will buy Lucida PLC, a U.K. annuity buy-out firm, for 151 million pounds ($232.9 million).

Banks were also climbing, rising with the broader European banking sector. Shares of Standard Chartered PLC UK:STAN +2.76%  added 3.4%, Lloyds Banking Group PLC UK:LLOY +1.62%   LYG +2.14%  rose 1.6%, HSBC Holdings PLC UK:HSBA +1.33%   HBC +2.68%   HK:5 +1.00%  picked up 1.3% and Barclays PLC UK:BARC +1.15%   BCS +1.79%  gained 1%.

Markets in London mirrored solid gains seen the in the U.S. on Tuesday on the back of a trio of encouraging data. Durable-goods orders, new-home sales and consumer confidence all improved, according to data released during the U.S. session.

Mining firms, however, curbed the gains for the London benchmark, as most metals prices moved lower. Shares of Antofagasta PLC UK:ANTO -2.63%  dropped 2.3%, Glencore Xstrata PLC UK:GLEN -2.13%  lost 1.8% and Anglo American PLC UK:AAL -1.93%  shaved off 1.5%.

Shares of Polymetal International PLC UK:POLY -0.87%  dropped 0.6%, even as Citigroup lifted the gold miner to neutral from sell.

Outside the major U.K. index, shares of Direct Line Insurance Group PLC UK:DLG +4.79%  climbed 5% after the U.K. firm announced plans to cut costs by 130 million pounds ($200 million) and cut about 2,000 jobs.

Source: Market Watch