Miners’ rally boosts FTSE

July 21, 2007 - 0:0

London equities opened in positive territory on Friday as miners continued to rally on firmer base metal prices and the FTSE was cheered by a strong session on Wall Street overnight.

In Australia, mining stocks gained as tin surged over 5 percent to a record, while nickel, copper, and lead prices were also stronger. Back in London, Antofagasta rose to the top of the FTSE leaderboard, up 2 percent at 740p, while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both gained 1.8 percent to £15.26 and £38.65 respectively and Anglo American put on 1.6 percent to £32.54. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index added 28 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,668.5 while the mid-cap FTSE 250 was up by 0.1 percent at 11,892.2, a rise of 12 points. Johnson Matthey was given a boost after Citigroup raised its price target on the stock by 200p to £20 and reiterated its “buy” rating. Shares in the platinum specialist rose 1.7 percent to £18.59. And home improvement retailer Kingfisher was also cheered by a broker note as its shares rose 1.4 percent to 225p after Deutsche Bank raised its recommendation from “sell” to “hold”. Trading to the downside, Debenhams shares lost 2.5 percent to 135p following an announcement by Baugur Group, the Icelandic investment firm, which said it has “no current intention” to make an offer for Debenhams or to acquire a stake in the company that would trigger an obligation to make an offer for the retail firm. On Wall Street overnight, stocks rallied as investors shrugged off fresh worries about the hard-hit U.S. sub-prime mortgage market. The Nasdaq Composite made gains of 0.8 percent to 2,720.04 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average settled above 14,000 for the first time, up 0.6 percent at 14,000.41. The S&P 500 had a record close of 1,553.08 -- a rise of 0.5 percent. (Source: Financial Times