Market Report: Glencore joins the boys in Brazil

The billionaire investor Carl Icahn will be sharing a spot on the share register of a Brazilian miner with Glencore. The world's largest commodities trader is hoping to grasp a share of the lucrative iron-ore market to add to its hold on the tradeable zinc, copper, grain and oil sectors, and has bought a holding in Ferrous Resources. Reports suggest it has offered funding to help develop the Viga mine in exchange for a bigger stake in the group.

Mr Icahn is said to have bought his stake last year from Phil Falcone's hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners. The price of iron ore has surged 75 per cent since a three-year low in September.

Traders expected a move into iron ore after Glencore's merger with Xstrata, which will complete next month. The combined trader and miner will become the world's largest thermal coal exporter, the largest zinc producer and the third-largest copper miner, but has very little exposure to iron ore mining.

The stake-building in Ferrous by Glencore is its first investment in a iron-ore producer.

Glencore's shares ticked up 2.45p to 385.5p.

Xstrata has long wanted to get into the iron-ore game – in 2009 it tried to buy the mining giant Anglo American. Its move on Ferrous puts rumours that Glencore might look at Anglo to bed. Nevertheless, Anglo's shares put on 14p to 1,952.5p.

A short squeeze on hedge funds who had been expecting weak numbers for the Glasgow-based oil services and engineer Weir pushed its share price to the top spot on the blue-chip index. Weir, up 158p to 2,322p, reported better-than-expected annual profits, but its outlook for the year was cautious with guidance for low single-digit revenue growth.

At the other end of the table, the biggest faller was the oil services group Petrofac. It disappointed analysts with a lack of future targets. Investors are already nervous after rival Saipem's profit warning last month. Petrofac reported revenues up 9 per cent, but the shares leaked 100p to 1,497p.

The mall owner Intu Properties is issuing more shares to fund its £251m purchase of Milton Keynes' Midsummer Place shopping centre, which is home to the town's original Concrete Cows artwork. But analysts thought its results, also announced, "disappointed on earnings", and the shares lost 9p to 333.9p.

It wouldn't be right for the City to go a day without a reheated bid rumour, and rehashed bid chatter accompanied a share-price rise for the retailer Marks & Spencer. The group, which has been the subject of on-and-off vague speculation, added 7.5p to 369.5p.

One deal that isn't likely to happen any time soon is Vodafone's interest in Kabel Deutschland. Reports claimed that Vodafone had put plans to bid for Kabel Deutschland on hold. The potential deal had not been popular with the City and shares in the telecoms group had dropped more than 5 per cent in the two weeks since news broke. The shares gained 3.2p to 165.1p after reports emerged that the talks have been shelved.

ITV meanwhile was playing down bid talk as the broadcaster revealed strong results. The shares declined 1.2p to 119p.

Analysts at HSBC downgraded Serco, the contractor that runs the Docklands Light Railway, as they are concerned about it keeping some of its contracts. HSBC is worried about the "unusual amount of contract retendering this year", and downgraded its rating to hold with a 590p price target. The shares lost 3.5p to 571p.

The FTSE 100 index clawed back some of Tuesday's losses, incurred amid fears of eurozone contagion after Italy's political stalemate sent equities south. It added 55.44 points to 6,325.88.

The small-cap interactive whiteboard maker Promethean World reported a £160m loss for 2012, and the shares slipped 5p to 18p. It said austerity measures have continued to hit the education budgets of its customers.

Israeli-based Starcom, the seller of "smart" padlocks with in-built GPS, debuted on AIM after raising £2.72m through a share placing priced at 20p. The shares closed at 22.5p.

Shares in the offshore oil-services group Thalassa Holdings surged 93p to 165p. It has agreed a deal with Norway's Statoil for a Ecuadorian contract worth more than $50m (£33m) over the next five years.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own