Market Report: Investors are all aboard a mining merry-go-round

Ever since Glencore International completed London's largest IPO in history back in May, talk has been persistent that the commodities trading giant could be about to splash the cash. Yesterday, however, the City was abuzz with speculation it may make a move for ENRC through a stake swap with Kazakhmys instead.

Claiming that Glencore was "unlikely to pay large takeover premiums", Nomura put forward the idea of a deal in which Kazakhmys hands over its 26 per cent holding in its fellow Kazakh digger in return for the Swiss group's zinc subsidiary, Kazzinc.

Analysts from the Japanese broker, who claimed that "in the current uncertain macro environment, executing more innovative merger-and-acquisition transactions is needed to both create value and preserve cash", added that the move "would represent a major step forward in Glencore's goal of becoming a major iron ore marketer" while Kazakhmys would "have a Central Asian target to replace the stake in its portfolio".

Traders, however, refused to get too excited about the idea, saying they were instead more interested in the oft-floated prospect of a merger between Glencore and sister group Xstrata (down 9.9p to 926.5p).

With its chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg, having ruled out an approach back in June, Glencore is unable to make a bid for ENRC until the end of the year. Last night, the company closed 5.5p better off at 407.5p, while ENRC advanced 8.5p to 649p and Kazakhmys stayed at 874.5p.

As the eurozone dominated yet again, fed-up traders were fruitlessly searching for new topics of conversation. Even though reports of an agreement between France and Germany to expand the bailout fund were being played down, the FTSE 100 still managed to jump up 40.14 points to 5,450.49, shrugging off Moody's' decision on Tuesday to cut Spain's credit rating.

ARM Holdings was among the companies in the red after Apple missed expectations with its fourth-quarter figures late on Tuesday. This moved the chip designer – whose technology is used in a lot of the US giant's products – down 11p to 580.5p, though fans of the Cambridge-based group pointed out that Apple's figures were affected by consumers waiting for last Friday's release of the iPhone 4S.

After reheated rumours around the explorer resurfaced last week, the idea that BG Group could soon become a target continued to do the rounds yesterday as it eased up 6p to 1,358p.

Meanwhile, bid chatter returned around the water companies after Investec's Angelos Anastasiou said he still expected further takeover activity in the sector following the recent £2.41bn acquisition of Northumbrian Water.

The analyst highlighted the significant premium paid by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, as United Utilities and Severn Trent powered up 8p to 612.5p and 6p to 1,527p respectively while Pennon rose 17p to 702p.

Good news from across the Atlantic helped Ashtead to claim pole position on the FTSE 250. The hire company shifted up 9p to 159.8p after its American peer United Rentals smashed expectations with its third-quarter figures and predicted 2012 would see a jump in construction activity.

At the opposite end, Home Retail's week was only getting worse with the Homebase owner extending its losses over the past three sessions to more than 20 per cent. The retailer's latest fall of 16.88 per cent to 99.5p came after admitting its first-half profit had plummeted 70 per cent.

In a busy session for results, recent chatter that Sports Direct would impress with its pre-close trading proved accurate, with the retailer seeing an 11.5 per cent sales jump in the nine weeks to 25 September. However, given that the group – owned by Newcastle United chief Mike Ashley – had previously climbed nearly 17 per cent in just 10 days, investors chose to bank profits and it declined 8.1p to 229.6p.

Coal of Africa was boosted up 11.62 per cent to 55.25p on the Alternative Investment Market after a suspension of its water-use licence for its Vele Colliery in South Africa was lifted, with the digger saying that as a result it was likely to produce its first coking coal early next year.

Meanwhile, Bowleven was pegged back 5.5p to 109.5p in response to the explorer's successful completion of a placing to raise around £80m, cash which the explorer is set to use to develop its assets off the coast of Cameroon.

Global Brands lost a fifth of its share price, slipping 0.38p to 1.5p, after admitting Domino's Pizza was struggling to catch on in Switzerland. The group – which owns the franchise for the pizza delivery company in the country, as well as in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein – revealed that the number of prospective franchise owners coming forward had been smaller than expected.

Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
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

Financial Accountant-IFRS-Gloucester-£300/day

£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...

SharePoint/C# Developer - Aberdeen - Circa £40K + benefits

£30000 - £40000 per annum + excellent benefits: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited:...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

HR Advisor - 6 months FTC Wimbledon, SW London

£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil