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London close: Footsie gains on pound, strength in mining and oil equipment names

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Monday 11 Dec 2017

London close: Footsie gains on pound, strength in mining and oil equipment names

(ShareCast News) - London stocks pushed higher on Monday as investors digested the latest on Brexit and looked ahead to a week of central bank updates.
At the close, the FTSE 100 was up 0.5% to 7,433.34, while the pound was down by 0.28% versus the dollar at 1.3355 and 0.50% weaker against the euro at 1.1322.

Weakness in Sterling was attributed by some to skepticism on the part of traders regarding last week's 'breakthrough' in Brexit talks.

James Hughes at Axi Trader said: "Again there is that feeling that the UK are putting out the rhetoric stating they will take no prisoners in the talks, and plan on leaving with everything they came looking for, very much like the divorce deal. However we know that the outcome of the divorce bill talks was that the UK backed down on all aspects and ended up paying their full allocation. The issue the government and David Davis now has is that the markets are losing faith in their ability to get a good deal."

Aside from keeping an eye out for any Brexit headlines, investors were awaiting updates from the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank this week.

Oil service firms and miners were among the top performing groups on the FTSE 350.

Buoying the former was news that the North Sea Forties pipeline was being closed for repairs, which sent front month Brent crude oil futures higher by 1.86% to trade at $64.60 a barrel on the ICE.

A positive endorsement from Citi accounted for strength in miners, with the broker's analysts referencing the recent pull-back in their share price and their more 'bullish' commodity price forecasts as the reasons behind their more positive stance.

In corporate news, Babcock was on the front foot after it said the adoption of new accounting rule IFRS 15 would not require a change in contract revenue or profit recognition.

BAE Systems ended flat even after it announced a £5bn contract to supply Typhoon aircraft to the Qatari air force.

Global thread maker Coats rose after saying it has bought US specialist yarn manufacturer Patrick Yarn Mill for $21m with a further $4m on the table subject to performance targets.

Investec advanced as it reassured investors that it has "immaterial exposure" to embattled South African retail giant Steinhoff International, which caused alarm for its lenders after its shares fell 80% last week.

Premier Oil gushed higher after agreeing to sell its 30% stake in the Esmond Transportation System pipeline in the North Sea to Cats Management for up to £23.6m.

Hochschild and Acacia Mining shone as gold prices rose, while Antofagasta was lifted by firmer copper prices.

Convatec gained after an upgrade to 'overweight' by Morgan Stanley, but Inmarsat was hit by a downgrade to 'neutral' at Goldman Sachs.

Whitbread was in the red following after the chief executive told The Times that Costa and Premier Inn are not yet ready to stand alone.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,453.48 0.80%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,064.62 0.36%
techMARK (TASX) 3,464.81 0.62%

FTSE 100 - Risers

WPP (WPP) 1,376.00p 2.61%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 751.70p 2.52%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,372.00p 2.27%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 913.50p 2.24%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 675.00p 2.04%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,538.00p 2.00%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,727.00p 1.95%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,877.00p 1.94%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,715.00p 1.84%
Glencore (GLEN) 351.30p 1.68%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Whitbread (WTB) 3,888.00p -2.65%
Centrica (CNA) 141.50p -1.80%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,323.63p -1.73%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 314.20p -1.50%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,306.00p -1.36%
Next (NXT) 4,423.00p -1.34%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,439.00p -1.17%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 355.00p -1.14%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 830.00p -1.01%
SEGRO (SGRO) 555.50p -0.98%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Hochschild Mining (HOC) 237.90p 7.17%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 677.50p 6.50%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 177.10p 6.49%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 975.00p 5.85%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 767.00p 4.85%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 269.40p 4.67%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 265.30p 4.49%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 190.20p 4.11%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 545.50p 3.90%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 435.00p 3.84%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 139.30p -9.84%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 444.80p -8.44%
Saga (SAGA) 129.40p -4.15%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 165.50p -3.44%
Workspace Group (WKP) 927.00p -3.12%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 594.50p -3.10%
Capita (CPI) 472.10p -2.88%
Equiniti Group (EQN) 293.20p -2.62%
esure Group (ESUR) 254.40p -2.49%
Card Factory (CARD) 274.00p -2.32%


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