The FTSE’s best two day run since October – London Report
THE FTSE 100 closed higher yesterday evening as miners made gains, despite BHP Billiton sliding. The UK’s top blue-chip index closed 0.88 per cent up, at 6,393 points, following the 0.96 per cent gain on Wednesday on the back of the chancellor’s Autumn Statement that sent housebuilders’ stocks higher.
Glencore led the pack, closing 5.85 per cent up at 95.88p per share, while Anglo American and Fresnillo ended the session 4.46 per cent higher at 435.8p per share and 3.96 per cent up at 749p per share.
Antofagasta rose 3.59 per cent up at 516.75p per share.
“A lack of major market moving news and below average trading volume due to US markets being closed for Thanksgiving today is favouring higher shares. The overall trend is clearly pointed to the upside,” said Markus Huber, a senior analyst at Peregrine & Black.
BHP Billiton’s share price, however, fell after JPMorgan cut its rating on the company’s stock to “underweight” from “neutral” and said it was factoring a 50 per cent reduction in its dividend. The UN also found malpractice was the cause of a fatal dam collapse in Brazil. Its share price dropped 2.38 per cent to 833.2p per share on the news.
“We believe the Samarco tailings dam failure will prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back on BHP Billiton’s progressive dividend,” JP Morgan analysts said.
Meanwhile, Barclays’ share price rose 1.67 per cent to 225.2p as investors brushed off the second fine in two weeks, the bank being asked to pay £72m for failing to conduct proper checks on wealthy clients.
More broadly, most sectors “traded higher on the FTSE 100 in a broad-based rally”, Jasper Lawler, analyst at CMC Markets said. “Mining companies topped the index supported by a rally in copper as well as other base metals after Chinese regulators announced a possible probe into short-sellers in local metals markets.”
On the FTSE 250, PayPoint’s share price fell 6.85 per cent to 924.5p after it reported a five per cent decline in operating profits for the first half of the year.
SSP Group was also a standout performer in the FTSE 250, finishing up six per cent, as customers continue to buy at food and drink at travel locations in growing numbers.
Keep an eye on retail stocks today as Black Friday madness takes over. Any stores whose websites go down could be in for share price trouble.