Connect to share and comment
* FTSE 100 up 0.2 percent
* Financials extend rally, Aviva boosted by Citi upgrade
* Miner wane after Chinese inflation overshoots
* Tullow Oil falls after update
By David Brett
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Strength in oils and financials kept the FTSE 100 wagon rolling by midday on Friday although momentum was slowing around multi-year peaks with weakness in miners, after an overshoot in Chinese inflation data, the main drag on the index.
By 1215 GMT, London's blue chip index was up 7.9 points, or 0.2 percent at 6,114.56, having closed above 6,100 for the first time since May 22, 2008 on Thursday. Strategists see the rally lasting a little while longer.
"In the first quarter we still think cyclical and financials will do better than defensives, it may reverse after that but for the first few months we would expect last year's trend to continue," Adrian van Tiggelen, senior strategist at ING Investment Management, said.
Banks kept pushing higher with the sector a favourite among investors gaining 45 percent since central banks stepped in to back stop the financial system and more recently the relaxation in liqudity rules from Basel.
Insurers, which remain cheap on valuation grounds trading on just 8.8 times 12-month forward price-to-earnings compared with the FTSE 100 on 11.2 times, rose too.
Aviva led the sector higher, up 2.9 percent after Citigroup to "buy" from "neutral" on valuation grounds.
"Despite recent gains, Aviva (up 14 percent in the last 3-months) trades at a substantial discount to UK peers (30 percent 2014 price-to-earnings) and European composites (15 percent). Most importantly we see a number of catalysts from management actions to close this gap in the next two years," Citigroup said in a note.
A boost from a broker also lifted British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines up 4.1 percent, the top individual riser on the FTSE 100.
UBS upgraded the stock to "buy" on increased optimism over the outcome of a restructuring at Iberia and also valuation grounds, saying despite a gain of more than 25 percent in IAG's share price in 2012 it lagged the performance of the other main European airlines.
Keeping a tight rein on gains were the Miners, which shed 1.3 percent as growth worries returned to dent investors' appetite for the sector after China revealed inflation had risen to a seven-month high.
"Investors fear that this could discourage further easing from Beijing, which could in turn hamper growth prospects elsewhere," Fawad Razaqzada, Market Strategist at GFT Markets, said.
Losses among miners on Friday pale in comparison with gains of more than 16 percent from mid-November 2012, after investors bought back in on the beaten up sector as confidence grew that the global economy was in better shape than had been feared boosting the outlook for demand in the sector.
Concerns over near-term forecasts saw Oil Explorer Tullow Oil fall 4.5 percent, the top faller on FTSE 100 in strong volume - 125 percent of 90-day daily average - after its latest trading.
"The update is likely to result in small reductions to 2013 forecasts and asset values. However, our investment case is driven by expectations of exploration success and monetising value - and we remain positive," Liberum said in a note.
(Written by David Brett; Editing by Angus MacSwan)