Market Report: Auto Trader's share price accelerates on its first day of trading


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Auto Trader accelerated almost 9 per cent on its first day of trading. The second-hand car seller’s shares were priced at 235p, raising £437m as it floated on the main market with a value of £2.35bn. But it ended its first day of conditional trading worth £2.56bn after the shares hit 256p. Clearly City boys like their cars.

The afterglow of the Budget and signals from the US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that rates won’t rise any time soon helped the FTSE 100 reach a new all-time high of 6,982.80. But the bounce was shortlived and it closed up a more modest 17.12 points at 6,962.32 – still well within record territory.

Ms Yellen’s comments knocked the dollar off course, which in turn boosted gold prices. Miners of the precious metal benefited accordingly, with Fresnillo climbing 35p to 679p and Randgold Resources 151p to 4,826p.

The Americans clearly like AO World. The US hedge fund Maverick Capital yesterday placed a bet on the online white goods retailer, taking out a total return swap on 3 per cent of the shares. The deal entitles it to any returns generated by the shares in exchange for regular payments at a set rate. Meanwhile AO’s long- term backer, Baron Capital, another investment house, raised its stake to 9 per cent. AO World rose 3p to 179p.

The pledge of the North Sea oil explorer EnQuest to increase investment in the wake of yesterday’s tax breaks helped spur it 6.5p to 40.5p.

The Superdry owner SuperGroup jumped 45p to 918.5p thanks to a positive note from Investec, which reckons the fashion brand’s “long-term investment case is very much intact” under its new chief executive Euan Sutherland.

Zegona Communications leapt 143.5p on its first day of trading, with the shares offered at 120p. The company, founded by two former Virgin Media executives, plans to buy badly run media or telecoms businesses and fix them before selling or floating them. Zegona’s backers include star fund manager Neil Woodford, Fidelity and the Entertainment One backer Marwyn.

The completion of its refinancing helped the troubled Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk improve 0.68p to 5.08p on AIM.