Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 18:43 UK

FTSE has best full week of year

FTSE 100 board
The FTSE 100 has risen on the back of strong corporate results in the US

Leading UK shares have had their best full week of the year, boosted by good corporate results in the US and strong economic data from China.

The FTSE 100 index closed the week at 4,388.75 points, a rise of 6.4%.

The welcome gains came despite figures released on Wednesday showing a record rise in unemployment in the UK in the three months to May.

The FTSE is still 15% lower than it was 12 months ago, with analysts saying that the economic outlook is unclear.

Encouraging signs

This week has seen a number of major US banks report better-than-expected results for the April to June quarter.

First came Goldman Sachs, with profits of $3.4bn (£2.1bn), before JP Morgan, Citigroup and Bank of America all beat analysts' expectations.

Computer giants Intel, IBM and Google have also reported strong results this week.

Figures released on Thursday which showed that the Chinese economy - the world's third largest - had grown at a rate of 7.9% between April and June, also improved sentiment among traders.

Continued uncertainty

Until there is much more sustained rise in share prices, however, few analysts will see this week as a meaningful sign that the UK economy is on its way to recovery.

It is still well down from the most recent high of 5636.60 points that it reached in September last year.

And we have also seen bigger weekly jumps in the last year. On Friday 2 January, the FTSE closed at 4,562 - almost 200 points higher than it closed on Friday - and a rise of 8.2% over the week.

The FTSE's performance over the past 12 months

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FTSE 100
22.84 0.42%
18.55 0.32%
Cac 40
14.37 0.38%
Dow Jones
78.53 0.76%
35.31 1.58%
Data delayed by at least 15 minutes

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