With all the attention on falling oil prices lately, it’s easy to forget that iron isn’t faring much better.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch sent mining shares into a tailspin yesterday after warning of a grim outlook for the metal amid over-supply and increased competition from Chinese producers. The bank cut its forecasts for iron ore prices by 13 per cent for next year and 19 per cent the following year
A slew of downgrades accompanied the note and among the worst hit was the mid-cap iron-ore miner Ferrexpo, which lost 5.65p to close at 62.95p.
The downward momentum of miners and a disappointing lack of stimulus measures from the European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi in his press conference condemned the Footsie to a 37.26 point fall to 6,679.37.
The accountancy software provider Sage Group once again topped the index, rising a further 27.5p to 449.6p as analysts reacted favourably to strong results the day before.
A 45 per cent jump in first-half profits helped the packaging specialist DS Smith climb 15.4p to 303.8p, while a profit upgrade pushed Robert Walters 31p higher to 304p as the recruiter told the market to expect full-year figures “materially ahead” of expectations.
The People’s Operator, the socially minded mobile network backed by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, got off to a strong start on AIM. The company, which donates £1 in every £10 of mobile spending to a charity of the subscriber’s choice, closed at 136.5p on its first day of trading. The shares were offered at 130p.
The Kurdish oil industry is finally starting to come good for operators in the area, but Deutsche Bank has told investors not to get too carried away. The bank downgraded Gulf Keystone Petroleum, off 6.5p at 69.5p, following a stonking 75 per cent rally since mid-October, saying it is now well overvalued.
Fox Marble, the AIM-listed miner quarrying the stone in the Balkans, jumped 1.5p to 18.25p after announcing that the Gibraltar-based Banyan Stone had agreed to buy €1.5m (£1.2m) worth of marble from the company over the next year and a half.Reuse content