Hopes for revived US plan helps UK stocks advance

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Blue chip stocks closed up today with hopes that the US government''s rescue plan will be revived and renewed optimism over the HBOS takeover fuelling the advance

The FTSE 100 rose by 57.14 points to finish up at 4,959.59, with banks leading the gains.

Also up was the broader FTSE 250, which gained 26.18 to 7,914.39 and the FTSE All-Share which rose by 26.61 to 2,510.28.

Among the day''s gainers were HBOS and Lloyds TSB both of which rose by double-digit margins after Gordon Brown said he remained confident that the takeover of the mortgage giant will go through.

However tapering the advance was Lonmin which slid dramatically after Xstrata withdrew its bid for the platinum giant.

Tim Hughes, head of sales and trading at IG Index, told the Bloomberg news agency:
"The FTSE has received a shot in the arm thanks to a 25 percent hike in HBOS'' shares after Gordon Brown''s statement of confidence.

"There is also renewed hope that the Senate and then the House of Representatives will finally push through a revised $700 billion deal."

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