London close: Miners rocket higher on Fed rate hike as BoE stands pat
(ShareCast News) - Shares in London ended Thursday higher thanks to miners rocketing ahead, with the FTSE 100 at another record close, after Bank of England stayed on rates and the US Federal Reserve upped its, both as expected.
BoE held its core rate at 0.25%, and left its Quantitative Easing programme unmoved, propping sterling higher. This followed the US Federal Reserve lifting its key rate last night.
"Sterling's surprise resurgence spelled bad news for the FTSE, which saw the edge taken off its gains as the pound began to rise," said Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell.
Both the blue-chip and mid-cap indices opened higher. FTSE 100 ended up 0.64% or 47.31 points to 7,415.95, and the FTSE 250 rose 0.33% to finish at 19,027.02.
"It is potentially significant that there has not been an exuberant follow-through to Wednesday's Fed decision," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.
"In London ... the lion's share of the gains are coming from miners and oil stocks, which are once again revelling in the weaker US dollar," he said,
"Miners (are) continuing to present a convincing case as one of the more undervalued sectors on the FTSE 100," he added.
Wall St got off to a marginally negative start, and notable European indices were positive, having received a sentimental boost thanks to a favourable outcome to Netherlands' elections.
In other politics-linked news, the Queen gave her Royal Assent to PM Theresa May's Brexit Bill, opening the final door to Article 50 being triggered.
Sterling likely also benefited -- thus putting a further damper on the FTSE -- from May reasserting that "now is not the time" for a second Scotland independence referendum.
The big beneficiaries were miners with the top seven blue-chip risers all being from this sector as gold, silver and copper prices dashed higher, and the dollar softened.
Anglo American stormed ahead, getting a further rocket higher on news Volcan Investments, the family trust of the founder of India's largest mining company, was investing £2bn in the miner.
Randgold Resources, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fresnillo, Antofagasta and Glencore all advanced very strongly as well.
Financial stocks such as banks and insurers also got something of a boost, with Lloyds, Barclays, Prudential and Old Mutual prominent.
So, too, did the various groupings of property stock -- whether house builders or commercial property.
On the downside, the vast majority of the roughly 40 falling blue chips were down by percentages of less than 1%.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals was mauled after a JP Morgan Cazenove downgrade. Merlin Entertainments was under the cosh after a downgrade by Berenberg.
Supermarkets were guided down by Sainsbury, which revealed that like-for-like retail revenue fell in the fourth quarter but total group sales rose thanks to a strong showing from Argos.
Direct Line, Hammerson, British American Tobacco, Crest Nicholson, Essentra, Assura, Millennium & Copthorne and LondonMetric all went ex-dividend.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,415.95 0.64%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,027.02 0.33%
techMARK (TASX) 3,476.27 0.22%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,297.50p 8.62%
Glencore (GLEN) 341.40p 5.01%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 844.00p 4.65%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,510.00p 3.92%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,454.50p 3.23%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,317.50p 2.57%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 772.50p 2.52%
Intu Properties (INTU) 282.20p 2.25%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 209.50p 2.10%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,100.00p 2.01%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,190.00p -4.66%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 335.00p -3.61%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 481.80p -2.92%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 235.50p -1.71%
Tesco (TSCO) 186.90p -1.32%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 268.10p -1.22%
Standard Life (SL.) 359.90p -0.88%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,504.00p -0.86%
Wolseley (WOS) 5,105.00p -0.78%
Carnival (CCL) 4,490.00p -0.75%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 524.00p 8.92%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 291.40p 8.65%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 904.00p 8.33%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 167.00p 5.93%
Evraz (EVR) 216.00p 5.32%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 483.40p 3.96%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 495.80p 3.81%
Polymetal International (POLY) 986.50p 3.78%
John Laing Group (JLG) 266.30p 3.11%
Investec (INVP) 619.00p 2.91%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 271.60p -4.33%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 445.50p -3.95%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 403.80p -3.70%
Essentra (ESNT) 524.50p -2.87%
Computacenter (CCC) 743.50p -2.43%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 1,300.00p -2.26%
Marshalls (MSLH) 338.10p -2.13%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 549.50p -1.87%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,757.00p -1.50%
Rank Group (RNK) 210.00p -1.41%