UK stocks : FTSE 100 closes up 1.2 pct at 3-wk highs
The U.S. 'fiscal cliff' of some $600 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes that is otherwise due to come into force in 2013 has overtaken the euro zone crisis as the top concern for investors. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner sparked a rally in global risk assets after he voiced optimism on Wednesday that a compromise could be reached.
President Barack Obama added to the positive mood, saying he hoped to get a deal done in the next four weeks.
"The general mood of the market is reasonably positive," said Neil Marsh, strategist at Newedge.
"There is probably going to be a little bit of volatility surrounding the 'will they, won't they', but ultimately they will - they have to ... If they don't come up with a deal, what will happen not just to the U.S. economy but the world economy is unthinkable."
The FTSE 100 closed up 1.2 percent, or 67.02 points, at 5,870.30, hitting levels last seen on Nov. 7 and heading for its sixth straight month of gains.
Steve Asfour, head of sales trading at Fox Davies Capital, said the strong run could continue into end-212, taking the UK benchmark towards the psychologically key 6,000 mark before a fresh push lower in the new year.
From a technical point of view,
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