UK's FTSE 100 set for highest close in 8 months

* FTSE 100 on track for highest close since late May

* FTSE 100 up 0.8 percent in late session trading

* GlaxoSmithKline (Other OTC: GLAXF – news) rises as SocGen (Paris: FR0000130809 – news) tips stock

* Burberry rises after strong Christmas sales

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Britain’s top equity index rose on Wednesday to put it on track for its highest closing level in eight months, as the World Bank’s upward revision of global growth forecasts buoyed the market.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up by 0.8 percent, or 51.20 points, at 6,818.06 – setting it up to reach its highest closing level since late May last year.

“The general outlook today has been fairly positive, helped by the World Bank upgrade,” said Hantec Markets analyst Richard Perry.

A 1.8 percent rise at heavyweight healthcare group GlaxoSmithKline gave one of the biggest lifts to the FTSE, after Glaxo was added to SocGen’s “premium list” of favoured stocks.

Luxury goods group Burberry also featured on the FTSE’s leaderboard with a 4.8 percent rise after reporting higher revenues over the Christmas period.

The FTSE 100 rose 14.4 percent in 2013 to post its best annual gain since 2009.

The UK stock market has been buoyed by a gradual recovery in the British economy.

Further signs that world trade is picking up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis came after the World Bank raised its forecast for global growth for the first time in three years.

Adrian Slack, technical strategist at APS Alpha, felt the FTSE 100 could push on to hit the 6,900 point mark – with a record level of 7,000 points within sight.

However, he added he would not want to buy equities at current levels as he still felt there was a risk the market may slip back in the first quarter if corporate results failed to meet market expectations.

“I would not want to be chasing it here,” he said.

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