Market Report: Improving news digs miners out of trouble

Miners managed to dig themselves out yesterday after weeks of being in the red as the US bellwether Alcoa reported better than expected results. The aluminium producer is the first to report earnings in the US each quarter, and beat expectations this time around. This, combined with better economic news across the board, a rise in metal prices and news of falling Chinese production costs sent metal miners soaring.

The iron ore miner Vedanta Resources was top of the leaderboard – up 86p, or 8.5 per cent, to 1,094p. Fellow iron ore specialist Ferrexpo, on the mid-tier index, reported a 21 per cent rise in output during the second quarter. Deutsche Bank's analysts were so keen they rated it a buy with a target price of 360p for shares that were 16.9p ahead at 155.6p.

The mining giant Anglo American was in focus after analysts at Macquarie Bank ran the numbers on a potential break-up of the group. Macquarie thinks that if Anglo sold off its 80 per cent stake in Anglo American Platinum and its De Beers diamond business and brought in a partner at its troubled Minas-Rio mining project it would add more value for its long-suffering shareholders.

Macquarie's experts think new chief executive Mark Cutifani "has his work cut out for him to 'pay back' Anglo shareholders for the last five to six years of value destruction".

Separately, its De Beers subsidiary – the world's largest diamond producer – averted strike action in South Africa this week when it agreed to increase pay by 9 per cent. Anglo added 37p to 1,281p.

The FTSE 100 continued the previous day's gains. It soared another 63.01 points to 6,513.08, back up to levels seen in early June. Tobi Morris, a senior sales trader at the spread-betting group CMC Markets, said: "Weaker than expected industrial production numbers out of the UK yesterday failed to take the shine off stocks, with the FTSE securing further gains."

A consistent riser was Royal Bank of Scotland after a strong performance on Monday, when it finished the day up 4.3 per cent. Yesterday it added another 15.6p to 304.4p as news that a "good" and "bad" bank split is looking less likely helped it to continue the run. Goldman Sachs ran the numbers factoring in if it did have to split and raised its rating to "buy" from "neutral" with a 370p price target. It argued that if the Government did proceed with a split of the tax-payer-owned bank it would at the very least cure the problems of "muted core returns and elevated uncertainty".

The high-street bellwether Marks & Spencer reported yet another fall in clothing sales and lost 6.5p to 453.2p. On the mid-cap index, a positive update from the engineering data and design IT systems specialist Aveva helped it to charge ahead 310p to 2,578p.

The gold producer Centamin produced another record quarter, with 93,624 ounces of gold produced, but it slipped 1.6p to 36.76p.

A new home needs a new floor, so the City was betting that a tiles and flooring specialist will benefit from the latest housing boom. The retailer Topps Tiles was chosen as a top pick by Goldman Sachs's analysts because, they said, an "increase in housing turnover" will mean people will spend more on tarting up their homes. They said the 320-strong chain has strengthened its position in the "floor covering niche", and added that the risk from "online disruption" is low because people still want to buy floor coverings and tiles from shops, not over the internet. The small-cap retailer laid down a 5.25p gain to 77.5p.

The Aim-listed crowd-sourcing specialist blur Group reported its most successful quarter, with a 125 per cent increase in the number of new projects and a 315 per cent increase in the total value of the projects added at $9.41m (£6.33m). It produced a 40p rise to 242.5p.

In London's biggest technology float this year Keyword Studios, a technical services provider to the video games industry, plans to raise £28m on Aim.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific