FTSE 100 Friday Close: Miners rise as sentiment turns positive

17th January 2014

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The FTSE 100 managed to make up for last week’s lacklustre start to the year and gain some ground over the past five days’ sessions with mining stocks leading the way writes Philip Scott.

The blue-chip index closed on Friday at 6,829.3, just 13.88 points or 0.2% up on the day but more than 1% firmer over the week.

A reported change in sentiment, most notably at Citigroup, towards the miners helped drive shares higher. Anglo American, upgraded to a ‘buy’ this week by analysts at UBS led the race, with a 11% jump to 1,391p.

Antofagasta managed a 8% increase to close at 846.5p while following ‘buy’ re-iterations from UBS and Investec Securities, Rio Tinto enjoyed a 8% leap to close at 3,383p.

Also witnessing a week of gains were Fresnillo, also 8% up at 732p, while supermarkets Morrison and Sainsbury’s each finished 7% better at 252.4p and 368.6p respectively.

Competitor Tesco firmed 3% to 331.1p while luxury fashion retailer Burberry, up 3% at 1,515p, reported a robust sales rise over the Christmas period.

Standard Chartered was the highest riser among the UK listed banks gaining 3% at 1,330p. On Friday it emerged that the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority has appointed two firms to conduct an independent review of Royal Bank of Scotland’s treatment of troubled small businesses, however over the week the 81% taxpayer owned group rose 2% to 363.7p.

Research group Forensic Asia threw the market a curve-ball, when in a report it calculated that HSBC, flat at 677.7p, had overstated it assets by more than £50bn and may need a £70bn capital injection.

Elsewhere in the banking sector, Barclays rose 2% to 288.6p while Lloyds Banking Group, managed a 1% rise to 83.52p.

An encouraging market update on Friday, could not stop bookmaker William Hill from falling 6% over the week to 360.1p. In its fourth quarter results, the firm delivered a good end to the year’s trading. Underlying net revenues rose 4%, despite £13m of losses in the second week of 2014, as football results went against them.

Royal Dutch Shell rattled investors today when it issued a profit warning. The group now anticipates that profits for the fourth quarter to be about $2.2bn against City analyst expectations of $4bn. Shares dropped on the day and over the week both its ‘A’ and ‘B’ shares are respectively down by 1% each at 2,174.5p and 2,279.5p.

Sports Direct International was off by 6% over the week to close at 712p while Intertek dropped 5% to 2,909p. Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management dropped 4% to 439p and its competitor Schroders shed 3% to finish at 2,563p.

Next week updates arrive from Unilever, miner BHP Billiton, and brewer SAB Miller.

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