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LONDON MARKETS: Sainsbury Boosts FTSE 100 To Small Weekly Gain

02/22/2013 | 12:12pm US/Eastern
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By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.K. stocks on Friday recovered a portion of the losses scored in the previous trading session, with banks and oil firms pushing higher and J Sainsbury PLC on the rise after a broker upgrade.

The FTSE 100 index added 0.7% to close at 6,335.70, climbing back after a 1.6% decline on Thursday. On a weekly basis, the index inched 0.1% higher.

Shares of J Sainsbury gained 2.1%, after Citigroup lifted the supermarket retailer to buy from neutral.

Additionally, the bank said it expects earnings from Tesco PLC (>> Tesco Corporation), down 0.4%, and Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC to disappoint, up 0.2%.

The broader U.K. stock market benefited from a pickup in risk appetite across Europe after the German Ifo Business Climate Index jumped to 107.4, topping forecasts for a 104.7 and fueling hopes that Europe's largest economy is recovering. .

Risk-sensitive banks were among advancers. Lloyds Banking Group PLC gained 1.7%, HSBC Holdings PLC (>> HSBC Holdings plc) rose 0.7% and Barclays PLC (>> Barclays PLC) inched 0.2% higher.

Oil shares were also in positive territory. BG Group PLC rose 1.6%, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) gained 0.6% and BP PLC (>> BP plc) inched 0.2% higher.

Shares of Vodafone Group PLC (>> Vodafone Group plc) gained 1.9%. The wireless-telecom firm said it had been selected by ThyssenKrupp AG to provide mobile services in 30 countries.

Shares of G4S PLC shaved off 0.9%, as HSBC cut the private-security firm to underweight from neutral.

"We think the market is disproportionately focused on G4S' UK public sector travails, which is 10% of group revenues," the analysts said.

"Instead, a much bigger risk is building. Manned security pricing is very weak in many developed markets, which makes cost recovery difficult and squeezes gross margins," they added.

Mining firms showed mixed moves in London, as most metals prices moved lower. Antofagasta PLC rose 1.6% and heavyweight Rio Tinto PLC (>> Rio Tinto plc) dropped 1.2%.

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