By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch)--Resource firms were among biggest gainers in a mostly upbeat U.K. stock market on Friday, after a surprisingly strong rise in jobs in the U.S. helped lift commodities out of negative trading territory.
The FTSE 100 index rose 0.2% to 5,913.21.
Shares of Kazakhmys PLC rose 1%, Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) gained 0.9%, while BHP Billiton PLC (BHP) picked up 0.7%.
Both metals prices and the broader trading mood on financial markets were lifted in afternoon action, after the nonfarm payrolls report from the U.S. showed 146,000 jobs were created in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9%. Both data releases were better than expected by analysts.
U.S. stocks opened higher on Wall Street.
Oil firms also moved higher, as oil prices erased earlier losses after the encouraging U.S. jobs data. Shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) gained 0.6%, while shares of Tullow Oil PLC picked up 0.3%.
On the data front in the U.K., the Office for National Statistics said industrial production declined 0.8% in October compared with the previous month. Manufacturing production fell 1.3%.
"Judging by the official data that we have seen for the fourth quarter so far, notably retail sales, trade and industrial production, the U.K. will struggle to avoid a renewed downturn in the economy after the brief return to growth seen in the third quarter," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, in a note.
Banking shares were under pressure. Shares of Standard Chartered PLC fell 0.9%, HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) dropped 0.4% and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) lost 0.7%.
Also on the decline in London, shares of Marks & Spencer Group PLC slumped 1.1%, after Goldman Sachs cut the retailer to sell from neutral.
Shares of peer firm Tesco PLC (TESO) tracked Marks & Spencer lower and lost 0.7%.
Goldman Sachs also reiterated its buy stance on do-it-yourself retailer Kingfisher PLC , its shares rising 0.4%.
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