Philip Salter
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MINER Glencore has had a real fall from grace since coming to the market back in May at over £5. In fairness, as with any high beta stock, when the market falls, they generally follow suit. One thing is clear, it is still are very ambitious and acquisitions are still the aim of the game for CEO Glasenberg. Its latest target is Optimum Coal, which is South Africa’s sixth largest coal producer. The company is also due to release its first dividend since flotation. With a worldwide sell-off hindering its share price, Glencore is taking a different view to the situation, and sees it as an opportunistic time to be adding to its armoury of acquisitions. Capital CFDs quotes 376.3p-376.9p.

Bovis Homes is scheduled to report interim results today with markets hoping that the house builder will be able to report some good news from the housing sector. However, with house prices staying quite high there is a fear that the housing market will continue to slowdown. CMC Markets quotes 339.75p-343.87p.

Defensive stocks are a natural fall-back in times of high volatility and with no sign of the turmoil disappearing any time fast, the sector could remain a popular play into the autumn. GlaxoSmithKline is a classic choice here, but the stock is also trading towards the lower end of broker forecasts right now, making it one worth watching. IG Markets quotes 1,279.5p-1,280p.

Are we teetering on the edge of another recession? If so, it’s easy to imagine the UK housing market grinding to a halt once again – even if London properties manage to exist in something of a bubble. HBOS produces a seasonally adjusted average house price survey for the UK. IG Markets quotes 158.2p-160.4p on the Halifax House Price Index for December 2011.