FTSE up amid hopes over debt crisis

London Stock ExchangeHopes that European policymakers will produce some sort of remedy for the region's debt crisis have continued to lift shares in London.

The FTSE 100 Index was 19.2 points higher at 5732.1, even though the US Federal Reserve disappointed markets by failing to signal more stimulus measures on Wednesday night.
With the Bank of England unlikely to change interest rates or its quantitative easing programme, the focus will be on the European Central Bank after its president Mario Draghi recently promised to do whatever it takes to save the euro.

It is likely that the ECB will resume bond buying in an effort to reduce Spain's borrowing costs.

In corporate news, shares in BAE Systems were more than 1% down after a fall in half-year revenues raised concerns about prospects in some of its key defence markets. The stock slipped 5.8p to 306.6p, despite profits meeting expectations.

Ladbrokes shares were 2.3p higher at 157p after a better-than-expected 11% rise in operating profits but Thomas Cook shares were lower after a wider third quarter loss offset recent encouraging signs on trading as more Britons opted to escape the poor weather by booking overseas trips. Shares slipped 0.75p to 16p.

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