Market Report: China revival helps miners out of a hole

 

Good news out of China helped the UK's benchmark index back in to the black after four days of losses and pushed miners to the top of the leaderboard. China's exports and imports data was better than expected for July and metal diggers such as Anglo American soared more than 4 per cent.

China is the world's biggest metals consumer and miners have been hit this year by volatile commodity prices. Any sign of improvements is followed by traders piling in to the companies that dig up and sell the hard stuff.

Mike van Dulken, the head of research at spread-better Accendo Markets, said: "The bigger-than-expected rebound in exports adds weight to the thesis of global recovery while a surge in imports suggests mounting confidence within the world's number-two economy, itself a function of perceived growth abroad.

Anglo collected 59.5p to 1454.5p, commodities giant Glencore Xstrata advanced 9.95p to 280.4p and Chilean miner Antofagasta added 32p to 876.5p.

Rio Tinto reported an 18 per cent drop in underlying half-year profits but the results were broadly as the City expected and the Australian group moved up 63p to 3,016.5p after detailing its cost-cutting plans.

The overall market benefited from the magnetism of the digging stocks and the FTSE 100 added 18.47 points to 6,529.68.

Alastair McCaig, market analyst at spread-better IG, said: "Broadly speaking the balance of good and bad news has balanced itself out, doing little to guide the market either higher or lower."

Moving on from miners, insurers and financial stocks were occupying a lot of interest as Aviva doubled its half-year pre-tax profit to £605m and its shares hit a two-year high, up 28.2p to 399p.

But fund manager Schroders said its assets under management fell by more than expected in the second quarter and it was the worst performer on the blue-chip index, down 133p to 2,368p.

Oil giant BP dipped 1.75p to 441.8p when a US court ordered it to pay $130m (£84m) to a court-appointed administrator for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The decision was announced in the US after the UK market closed on Wednesday.

Luxury goods group Burberry promoted Pascal Perrier and Andrew Maag to the newly create jobs of regional chief executive officers and the shares were 13p smarter at 1,563p.

Investors were unhappy that energy services group Amec reported a below-forecast £158m profit for the half year. The equipment supplier to the oil, gas, mining, nuclear and renewable energy sector cut its revenue outlook for the year and traders were concerned about falling demand.

Amec lifted its dividend by 15 per cent and Oriel Securities' analysts said this could be followed by an even bigger payout "depending on the progress of acquisitions". The shares lost around 1.5 per cent in early trade but recovered and closed 4p better at 1,079p.

On the mid-tier index, transport group Firstgroup was getting attention as vague rumours circulated that private equity could be taking a look at the group. The shares travelled up 7p to 111.9p.

Defence specialist Cobham reported revenue 3 per cent weaker. It was hit by US defence cuts and lost 3.9p to 295.6p. Betting group Ladbrokes fell 8.1p to 199.6p after it reported its half-year profit had halved.

Soft-drinks bottling group Coca-Cola HBC reported profit up 3 per cent for the six months to the end of June and the shares fizzed up 64p to 1,900p.

Brisk summer trade at pubs group Enterprise Inns helped it report an improvement in trading for the past five weeks and the shares celebrated with a 7.3p gain to 148p.

Small-cap miner Avocet Mining revealed details of a new plan to cut costs and improve the production at its Inata gold mine in the face of the falling gold price. It reported second-quarter results in line with expectations and the shares glistened up more than 34 per cent, 2.92p to 11.5p.

Aim-listed US oil and gas explorer Empyrean Energy surged 0.25p to 6.65p after US oil major Marathon Oil issued a promising update. Marathon operates Empyrean's Sugarloaf project in Texas.

Concha, the media and technology investment company run by Chris Akers, has bought a 30 per cent stake in media design agency The Works. Mr Akers, who floated Leeds United on the London Stock Exchange, will return Concha to the market today having raised around £1m through a share placing. The shares were suspended at 0.3p.

News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
News
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Application Support Analyst / Junior SQL Server DBA

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Business Development Manager / Media Sales Exec

£28 - 32k + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Business Development Manager ...

C# .NET Developer (PHP, Ruby, Open Source, Blogs)

£40000 - £70000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: C# .NET ...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor