Market Report: Glencore's roller-coaster ride continues as it rockets to top of FTSE 100


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Glencore’s roller-coaster ride has continued, but instead of another plunge into the depths, shares in the commodities trader rocketed to the very top of the FTSE 100.

The surge came as markets in China were shut for a public holiday – a fact that had most stock markets on the front foot from the start of the session. An upbeat update from Rio Tinto, which told investors it saw global steel demand rising at 2.5 per cent a year over the next 15 years, also provided momentum.

Glencore’s feat was all the more impressive given that it coincided with Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade its outlook due to concerns about economic growth in China, the world’s largest commodities consumer. Glencore’s shares, which have lost close to 60 per cent of their value so far this year, closed at 130.95p – up 8.15p on the day.

There were also gains for its mining peers Anglo American, up 41.2p at 725p, BHP Billiton, 45.5p higher at 1,110p, and Fresnillo, 23.5p pricier at 622p. These developments, along with dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, helped the FTSE 100 rise 110.79 points to 6,194.1.

Mr Draghi suggested the ECB could boost its quantitative easing programme should the economic backdrop darken.

Also close to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard was the supermarket Morrisons, which finished 7.7p to the good at 170.8p following an upgrade from UBS. The bank said there was evidence “that Morrisons has made good progress across the last six months, with consumers recognising an improvement in value for money and fresh credentials”.

At the other end of the spectrum, the engineer Weir had its price target cut by Citi and became the day’s biggest loser, dropping 15p to 1,328p.

Among small-cap stocks, self-storage firm Safestore put on 9.5p to 304.75p after revealing that its third- quarter revenue had risen 7.2 per cent to £26.7m.

On AIM, African Potash cultivated a rise of 0.2p to end at 3.325p on an agreement with a Zimbabwean company to supply 150,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser.