Fed interest rate decision adds sheen to London-listed miners

Jessica Morris
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Janet Yellen Testifies Before House Financial Services Committee
Fed chair Janet Yellen suggested US borrowing costs could rise this year (Source: Getty)

The US Federal Reserve's decision to hold interest rates proved to be a boon for London-listed miners which raced to the top of the FTSE today.

While Fed chair Janet Yellen suggested US borrowing costs could rise this year, policymakers cut the number of rate increases they expect this year to one from two and projected a less aggressive rise in rates both next year and in 2018.

This US dollar index fell immediately making greenback-priced metals — such as gold, silver, copper, aluminium and zinc — cheaper to foreign buyers, in turn boosting demand for them and shares in London-listed miners.

BHP Billiton topped the FTSE 100 this morning, after swelling 3.76 per cent to 1,090.25p. It was followed by Randgold Resources whose shares jumped 3.52 per cent to 7,950.00p and Glencore which was 3.30 per cent higher at 203.6p.

Antofagasta was up 3.2 per cent to 512.25p, while Rio Tinto rose 2.88 per cent to 2,480.50p, Fresnillo added 2.86 per cent to 1,762.00p and Polymetal International was 2.20 per cent higher at 1,069p.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: "Shares in precious metals miners Randgold Resources, Fresnillo and Polymetal are among the major FTSE100 beneficiaries of the US Federal reserve holding off from rising rates last night, at least for another few months."

The US Federal Reserve voted 7-3 in favour of holding rates last night, despite policymakers finding the case for a rate hike had strengthened in recent months.

The decision sent the US dollar index to a five-day low of 95.515, off more than 0.50 per cent.

It last raised the benchmark interest rate to a range of 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent in December — the first rate hike in almost a decade — but has held rates steady so far this year.

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