London Report: FTSE stems its losses after BHP announces spin-off firm plans

BRITAIN’S top share index yesterday ended higher, with gains from BHP Billiton on its plan to list a spin-off company also in London and supportive com­ments from ECB chief Mario Draghi.

The FTSE 100 finished 0.5 per cent higher at 6,706.27 points after staying almost flat during most of the session.

BHP Billiton ended 3.2 per cent higher at 1797.50p, the top gainer on the index, after saying it would list the demerged company having aluminium, coal, man­­ganese, nickel and silver assets worth an estimated $16bn (£1bn) in London, Sidney and Johannesburg.

Index heavyweight Vodafone rose 2.8 per cent to 204.25p, with traders citing some takeover speculation and after a European Commission source said EU regulators were set to remove limits on the prices that leading telecoms firms can charge smaller operators for accessing their networks.

Miner Fresnillo rose 2.2 per cent to 775.50p after UBS added it to its “most preferred” list, citing the acquisition of Newmont Mining’s 44 per cent stake in Mexican gold mining joint venture Penmont as a medium-term positive.