Stock watch

Uk investors took their lead from Wednesday's strong US market gains, with the FTSE 100 Index powering 90.3 points higher to close at 6649.9 yesterday.

Uk investors took their lead from Wednesday's strong US market gains, with the FTSE 100 Index powering 90.3 points higher to close at 6649.9 yesterday.

The leaderboard was topped by two companies benefiting from broker upgrades. Bradford & Bingley, gained 23.25p to 423p and Centrica jumped 16.25p to 380.75p.

Mining stocks continued their upward price movements on the back of firm metal prices with Rio Tinto climbing 119p to 3838p and BHP Billiton rising 32p to 1357p. The oil sector benefited from a rising crude oil price, and in particular BP rose 8.5p to 582.5p and Royal Dutch Shell moved up 41p to 1990p.

Shares in International Power gained 6.75p to close at 435.5p after rumours of a takeover approach from France's EDF.

Bronwyn Huddleston is a portfolio manager at Barclays Wealth, Gerrard Investment Management.

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