Anglo American's shares are sparkling after its first diamond sales of 2017

Courtney Goldsmith
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Anglo American was a top FTSE 100 leader this afternoon
Anglo American was a top FTSE 100 leader this afternoon (Source: Getty)

Anglo American's shares have risen more than six per cent after its diamond-producing De Beers unit brought in profit with its first diamond sale of 2017.

Shares had risen 6.11 per cent at 1,388.5p at the time of publishing following the miner's announcement of its rough diamond sales.

De Beers' first sales cycle of 2017 produced $720m (£576m) from its rough diamonds, compared with $422m for the last sale of 2016 and $545m a year ago.

Bruce Cleaver, chief executive of De Beers, said the company saw good demand across the majority of its assortment in the first period, a time when demand is traditionally strongest.

"The longer period between the final Sight of 2016 and the first Sight of 2017 also contributed to heightened demand during the cycle," he added.

Read more: Anglo American under pressure to hive off its South African operations

Demand for smaller, lower-quality rough diamonds increased in India as the company reopened some of its diamond polishing operations, but Cleaver said, "we maintain a cautious outlook for these categories as the Indian industry continues to adjust to the post-demonetisation environment."

The group was hit by a slowdown in sales from the country following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's snap decision in November to withdraw 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation in a bid to tackle corruption, tax evasion and black market trade.

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