Basic resources were sharply higher on Thursday, with Glencore and BHP Billiton among the risers, helping the FTSE 100 end the session slightly higher. However, the UKs main index lagged behind its European counterparts.
While the FTSE 100 slipped during the day to a low of 6,321 points, it closed 0.44 per cent higher at 6,376 points.
Glencore led the pack, rising 5.93 per cent over the course of the day, after a turbulent week for mining companies. BHP Billiton was also up 1.82 per cent.
Meanwhile, Anglo American earlier in the day disappointed investors after a poor earnings update. The company reported it was going to be postponing major project investment decision at its platinum unit until at least 2017 and lowered its diamond production “to better reflect current trading conditions”. Shares sunk over three per cent on the announcement, before regaining some composure to close 1.27 per cent down.
“Miners are up two per cent, despite Anglo American initially tanked 3.4 per cent but then regained some pause – down just over 1.2 per cent,” market analyst at Panmure David Buik said.
Telecoms also had a good day, with Vodafone up 3.39 per cent and BT up 2.09 per cent during the session.
However, the FTSE 100 underperformed its European peers, failing to match rallying indexes Eurozone countries after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicated further monetary stimulus for the Eurozone.
While the FTSE 100 was volatile after Draghi’s speech, the French CAC and German Dax finished 2.28 per cent and 2.48 per cent up respectively on the back of it.
Pearsons, whose stock plummeted over 16 per cent yesterday after saying lower enrolments at some US colleges and decline school textbook purchases in parts of South Africa were going to dampen their full-year results, lost another 4.86 per cent of their value today after several broker downgrades.
"The most concerning thing for us about Pearson's weak 9 month update is how little visibility they seemed to have at first half results on 24 July. It is hard to see this share price fall as an opportunity,” Barclays analysts wrote in a note.
The largest loser was Travis Perkins, owner of DIY stores Wickes, which saw its stock fall 6.01 per cent after announcing its full year results would be at the lower end of market expectations.