Market Report: Fresnillo glisters as gold price soars

As the price of gold hit a three-month high, metal miners from around the world shone brighter with Mexico's Fresnillo top of the FTSE 100 leader board.

The world's largest silver producer and the second-largest gold producer in Mexico was up 87p to 1581p.

The rise in gold, which reached $1641.2 an ounce yesterday, was attributed to rumours of further stimulus from the US's Federal Reserve and hope of further demand in China.

Fresnillo's run was joined by west and central African miner Randgold Resources, up 150p to 6315p, while FTSE 250 and Russian-based Petropavlovsk, previously known as Peter Hambro Mining, was up 11.9p to 476p and Egypt's Cetamin was up by 2.5p to 73.6p.

African Barrick, which is currently the subject of a bid from China's largest gold producer – China National Gold Group – was up 19p to 452p. The rise was in spite of a downgrade from strong buy to neutral from analysts at Westhouse Securities following the recent surge in its shares.

Stocks rose across Europe and the US as the summer rally continued amid hopes of extra stimulus from central banks.

On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor 500 reached a high of 1422.98, up 0.3 per cent, back to May 2008 levels. In August alone it has risen 3 per cent. In a similarly optimistic mood the FTSE 100 was up 33.15 points at 5,857.52.

But the markets await the Greek prime minister's meeting with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel at the end of the week.

Oil and gas shares were gushing again yesterday with Heritage Oil leading the pack. The mid-cap oil explorer, a favourite with the small-investor community, jumped 36.9p to 205p, a 22 per cent rise.

The splurge followed news it has struck a deal to sell part of a gas block in Iraq's Kurdistan region – a hot spot for the sector at the moment.

The deal means its planned rights issue to partially fund its buying spree in Nigeria's oilfields is no longer needed.

Heritage, founded by Tony Buckingham, the colourful, one-time special forces soldier and America's Cup challenger, is flogging the gas block to Genel Energy in two phases.

It is selling a 26 per cent stake in its Miran Block and an interest in a related joint operating agreement for $156m (£99m). The second part of the deal is a loan of $294m which can be exchanged for Heritage's remaining interest in Miran at a later stage.

Heritage's planned adventure in Nigeria began in June when it paid Shell $850m for the fields known as OML 30.

Genel has beefed up its presence in Kurdistan. The deal sees Genel's holding in the Miran Block swell to 51 per cent. Genel fell 2p on the news to 700p.

Afren, another FTSE 250 explorer with a penchant for Kurdistan and Africa, revealed production was ahead of expectations in its half-year results yesterday. Shares were up 3.1p to 129.6p and Investec and Oriel Securities retained their buy recommendations.

The sector also saw a short, sharp gush in Ophir Energy shares. Its Fortuna East-1 (R5) exploration well has found gas. Ophir slickly moved up 24p to 549.5p.

The price of oil rose by around $1 a barrel towards $115, boosted mainlyby hopes the European Central Bank will introduce measures to turn the struggling eurozone around.

Meanwhile, Aim-listed Red Emperor has temporarily halted trading in its shares until it issues a drilling update on its Shabeel North well.

Beleaguered technology firm Pursuit Dynamics fell again to 7.5p, down 2p.

FTSE 100 Scottish engineering group Weir, which services the pumps used in the mining, oil and gas sectors, ticked up 26p to 1776p today. Analysts at Deutsche Bank think "rising ore and energy consumption, deteriorating grades and high wear rates make this an inherently attractive business".

Deutsche issued a 2,150p target price and a buy rating.

But things were slightly less rosy at fellow Scottish energy services firm John Wood Group. Its shares fell 7.5p to 828p today. But Credit Suisse reiterated its outperform rating and its 925p target price.

On the small-cap index, the bid chatter for online betting group Sportingbet continued with Canaccord analyst Simon Davies describing the group as an obvious bid target and that Ladbrokes, Betfair, Bwin.Party, Opap could be "obvious buyers". However, the shares were unchanged at 41p.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Scientists believe Mercury is coated in billions of years’ worth of carbon dust, after being ‘dumped on’ by passing comets
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£30,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a perso...

Richard Bishop: Accounts Payable Clerk

£11 - £13 Hourly Rate: Richard Bishop: Are you looking for a purchase ledger r...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you qualified accountant with previous exp...

Richard Bishop: Accounts Payable Clerk

£11 - £13 Hourly Rate: Richard Bishop: Are you looking for a purchase ledger r...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor