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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Jumps As Miners, Oil Firms Rise

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.K. stocks followed a risk-on trend in European markets on Monday, after weekend polls in Greece put the conservatives in the lead ahead of next month's election. The FTSE 100 index jumped 0.9% to 5,398.28 points, and was set to extend gains into a third-straight day. Miners provided the most support to the index, as metals prices were on the rise. Heavyweights Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) and BHP Billiton PLC (BHP)rose 3.5% and 2.3% respectively, while Antofagasta PLC took on 3.6%. Oil firms also provided support in London, as oil prices added more than 1%. BG Group PLC ticked 0.6% higher and Tullow Oil PLC advanced 3.2%. Sentiment in the U.K. was inspired by gains across Europe, where stocks moved higher after polls in Greece put the pro-bailout New Democracy party in the lead ahead of parliamentary elections in June, offering signs of progress toward stabilization in the debt-laden country. Banks moved up with Barclays PLC gaining 2%, Lloyds Banking Group PLC 4.4% higher and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC moving up 3.3%. Drinks business Diageo PLC ticked 0.5% higher after reaching an agreement to buy cachaca brand Ypioca from Ypioca Agroindustrial Limitada for about 300 million pounds ($471 million). Also providing support in London, recruitment firm Capita PLC added 3.2% after UBS lifted the stock to buy from neutral, following increased merger and acquisition activity. "Analysis of the largest recent acquisitions has given us comfort regarding the quality of the businesses acquired, the financial dynamics and, most importantly, their clear links to attractive and growing markets," the analysts said in a note. Outside the main index, Inmarsat PLC rose 3.3% after Jefferies raised the telecom firm to buy from hold.

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