Footsie makes strong start

London’s leading shares were on the front foot today led forward by stronger financial stocks and the miners on the back of rising copper prices.

London’s leading shares were on the front foot today led forward by stronger financial stocks and the miners on the back of rising copper prices.

Investors seemed to be in better mood following yesterday’s lacklustre performance and the FTSE 100 Index stood 21.2 points stronger at 6150.4 by mid morning.

Xstrata – up 62p to 2302p – was the best performing of the mining stocks after broker UBS upgraded its target price from 2682p to 3000p.

It was followed up by Anglo American and Lonmin advancing 42p to 2406p and 69p to 2971p respectively as the cost of metals lifted.

Heavily weighted HSBC lifted almost 2% – up 16p to 1010p – following bullish comments regarding its corporate investment growth in Asia.

And drug firm AstraZeneca rose 41p to 3139p following broker upgrades. Shares in the firm plunged last week after it ditched an experimental stroke drug following its failure during clinical trials.

Elsewhere, tour operator MyTravel warned it may miss UK profits targets for next year as trading had not fully recovered from the summer’s airport security alert and terror attacks in Turkey and Jordan.

The Going Places owner downgraded its profit expectations in September, but investors welcomed news that trading had improved in the last few weeks as the stock rose 1.5p to 189p.

Shares in Heart and Galaxy radio group Chrysalis were hit, even though it said it had overcome a tough year in the media industry to deliver on targets set 12 months ago. With the start of the new financial year proving tough for the radio division, shares were down 13.5p at 122p – a fall of almost 10%.

Other fallers in the sector were GCap Media down 5p to 209p, Local Radio Company off half a penny to 23p and UBC Media down 0.75p to 16.75p.

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