Oil and mining sectors gain on FTSE

Healthy gains for the oil and mining sectors helped the London market make headway today, despite further bad news on the housing front.

Oil prices seemingly established above the €130 level swelled the likes of BP and Royal Dutch Shell as well as their fellow prospectors.

Miners were also buoyed by a bullish outlook from Rio Tinto, helping the FTSE 100 Index rise 47.9 points to 61175.5 by mid-morning.

Oil explorers Cairn Energy and Tullow Oil led the Footsie’s risers’ board with both firming more than 3%. Cairn was 114p better off at 3420p, with Tullow 29.5p up at 927p. BP and Shell – two of the market's biggest stocks – rose 13.75p to 619.25p and 40p to 2197p respectively.

Miners were also driving the Footsie higher in the wake of reported comments from Rio Tinto in which the giant said it expected world demand to double for its metals and minerals by 2022. The company’s shares were 197p higher at 6334p.

Antofagasta was also on better ground, adding 18.5p to 715.5p, followed by Eurasian Natural Resources, which was 36p ahead at 1446p.

On the downside, the 2.5% monthly drop in Nationwide house prices caused housebuilding, banking and property shares to fall.

Banks were also under pressure after the Independent newspaper said Barclays had revised down its calculation of analysts’ consensus forecasts for its full-year profit for the second time this month.

Barclays shares fell 9p to 378.25p, while Halifax Bank of Scotland slipped 10.75p to 420.25p.

Amid the house price gloom, building materials giant Wolseley was the Footsie’s top faller, easing 17p to 540p, a drop of 3%. B&Q owner Kingfisher was not far behind, falling 2.6p to 137.3p.

In the housebuilding sector, Charles Church owner Persimmon lost 15p to 498.5p, while second tier rival Bovis Homes was also down, 19.75p to 428.25p.

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