FTSE 100 Index: Gold glitters and BT gets a good call to lift - London Report

BT helped to lift the FTSE 100 back towards the two-month highs (Source: Getty)
Gains in gold mining stocks and at BT helped to lift the FTSE 100 back towards the two-month highs it reached towards the end of last week. Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline also climbed 3.88 per cent after it posted better-than-expected earnings.

Randgold and Fresnillo were the best-performing stocks on the blue-chip index, which climbed 1.1 per cent to 6,437.80 points, close to its highest level in two months.

Randgold finished 3.76 per cent up while Fresnillo closed up 4.63 per cent.

“Randgold and Fresnillo are just tracking the gold price higher,” XTB Limited director Joshua Raymond said. “There’s a lot of appetite to buy into this market.”

Many investors were focusing on a US decision on interest rates due after the close.

Nevertheless, expectations that rates would not be increased this year lifted the price of gold, and higher interest rates can dent the appeal of gold, which is a non-interest bearing asset, as it would lift the interest gained on dollar assets.

Communications services company BT rose 3.3 per cent after the British Competition & Markets Authority provisionally cleared its deal to buy mobile operator EE .

However, engineering group Meggitt slumped 20.5 per cent after a profit warning due to a downturn in its military division that compounded an already poor performance from its energy unit.

Lloyds also fell 4.4 per cent after reporting weaker-than-expected results and setting aside another £500m charge to compensate customers who were mis-sold loan insurance.

That takes its total bill to £13.9bn, more than double any other bank’s.

British American Tobacco shares closed up 2.62 per cent after reported it sales growth of 4.2 per cent in the first nine months of the year, ahead of analysts’ expectations of 2.6 to 3.6 per cent.

Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror agreed to buy rival Local World for £220mm, making it the UK's largest regional news outlet with over 200 titles.

Shares in the owner of the Daily and Sunday Mirror lifted more than seven per cent.

And shares in brewer SABMiller were up 0.74 per cent, after it said that Budweiser maker AB InBev had requested a week’s extension in order to agree their £68bn mega-merger.

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