Another rise for FTSE

The FTSE 100 Index ended a buoyant week with its fourth winning session in a row today as mining stocks continued their recent push higher.

The Footsie finished 27.5 points up at 5132.9 and has now advanced more than 6% since Monday's close amid slowly recovering risk appetite among investors.

In a quiet day for corporate news, a combination of broker upgrades, improved sentiment and higher metal prices underpinned the heavyweight sector's gains.

In London, fears of UK recovery being choked off by rate hikes were lifted when factory gate prices slowed more than expected in June, reducing the pressure for tightening to control inflation.

Markets overlooked poorer data on the UK goods trade gap, which widened to £8.1bn (€9.67bn) in May amid little sign of help from a weaker pound.

Sterling stood just below 1.51 against the dollar and 1.19 against the euro. The single currency has strengthened in recent days as confidence over the eurozone picks up.

Mining firm Antofagasta was the top flight's best performer, gaining 34.5p to 886p or 4% as Citigroup brokers upgraded it to a buy rating.

BT Group was also on the front foot after the telecoms giant reached a deal with union leaders for an "unprecedented" three-year pay rise worth more than 9%.

While the City estimated the deal could cost around £50m (€59.7m) extra a year by 2013, the deal averted the threat of a costly strike by workers and helped shares to rise 4p to 140p.

Medical instruments firm Smith & Nephew was also in demand amid vague bid gossip in a quiet session. Shares added 23p to 607p.

One of the biggest falls in the top flight was posted by National Grid after analysts at Citigroup yesterday removed their buy rating on the stock and said the utility may sell its US business in order to protect its dividend. Shares, which were flat last night in a strong market, fell 7.1p to 494.9p.

In the FTSE 250 Index, shares in roofing and insulation firm SIG rose 2.4p to 106.9p after it forecast better-than-expected half-year profits due to a recovery in sales over the second quarter of the year.

Engineering firm Bodycote set the pace in the second tier after it said it was on course to exceed market forecasts for full-year operating profits. Shares were 14% higher, up 26.9p at 217.6p.

Elsewhere. shares in recruitment firm Michael Page International lifted 7.6p to 393.4p after growth in Asia helped boost second quarter profits.

Bovis Homes shares were up 5.7p to 354.5p after announcing plans to restore its dividend at the end of the current financial year.

A solid trading update from Bovis was overshadowed by a cautious assessment of the sector by broker HSBC. The review caused Bellway to fall by 12p to 612p and Redrow to slip 3.5p to 109.8p.

The biggest Footsie risers were Antofagasta up 34.5p to 886p, Smith & Nephew up 23p to 607p, Prudential up 19p at 537p and Invensys up 8.8p to 267.6p.

The biggest Footsie fallers were British Land down 9.1p to 447.5p, Segro down 4.5p at 269.7p, African Barrick Gold off 9p to 584.5p and Land Securities down 8.5p to 579p.

More on this topic

FTSE 100 rebounds but trade war fears continue to weighFTSE 100 rebounds but trade war fears continue to weigh

FTSE 100 ekes out another record high in last full trading day of 2017FTSE 100 ekes out another record high in last full trading day of 2017

FTSE plummets 5% amid China slowdownFTSE plummets 5% amid China slowdown

Gains for European marketsGains for European markets

More in this Section

John Daly: Opportunities in drone technology ‘too big to ignore’John Daly: Opportunities in drone technology ‘too big to ignore’

AbbVie-Allergan merger will impact Irish unitsAbbVie-Allergan merger will impact Irish units

Dublin Airport celebrates 80 years with reflection and expansionDublin Airport celebrates 80 years with reflection and expansion

Netflix chief confirms interest in deal with Harry and MeghanNetflix chief confirms interest in deal with Harry and Meghan


I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner