Market Report: Mining giants rise on merger approval

Shareholders in Glencore and Xstrata were in jubilant form yesterday after Europe gave the green light to their plans for a £56bn mega-merger, in a decision which means the deal is now as good as done.

Three days after both companies' shareholders approved their plan to create a mining and commodities trading powerhouse, the EU cleared the deal on competition grounds, with only the relatively small concession that Glencore terminate its contracts to sell the zinc output of Switzerland's Nyrstar. Glencore's shares added 6.6p, or 2.0 per cent, to end the day at 340.7p, and Xstrata's rose by 17p, or 1.7 per cent, to 1,014p.

Although the pair still need regulatory clearance from China and South Africa, analysts believe it will comfortably secure the green light from both countries within the next few months.

Elsewhere on the markets, energy and resources companies were the big winners, after encouraging news from China, which showed that the manufacturing output of the world's biggest consumer of raw materials increased for the first time in more than a year this month.

The Chinese HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI rose to 50.4 in November, moving above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction for the first time in 13 months and offering fresh proof of recovery in the world's second largest economy. The bullish report was all the more cheering to the market, coming hard on the heels of a survey from the US on Wednesday which showed that manufacturing in the world's biggest economy picked up at the fastest rate in five months in November.

Evraz, the London-listed, Russia-focused steelmaker, saw its shares increase by 11p to 237.3p, while among the miners, Vedanta Resources increased by 17p to 1074p, Kazakhmys rose 9.5p to 692.5p, and Rio Tinto rose by 13p to 3,010p. BP increased by 0.6p to 433.6p, as the Russian government and the Rosneft board both approved the £17bn sale of its 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP, its Russian joint venture, to Rosneft.

The growth in resource-related stocks helped to drive the FTSE 100 to its fourth consecutive daily rise, as the blue-chip index added 39 points, or 0.68 per cent, to close at 5791.03 points.

In the financial neck of the woods, shares in Man Group rose by 6 per cent on reports that the world's largest hedge fund is experimenting with a new way of improving results at its flagship AHL computerised fund.

The $16.3bn (£10.2bn) fund is thought to have moved about $1.5bn of its assets into a new vehicle dubbed Evolution as it attempts to boost its ailing returns – and it appears to be working, with the pioneering portion of the fund producing an 18 per cent return so far this year. Man's shares added 4.5p to close at 77.5p.

Evolution will continue its parent's policy of using complex algorithms and mathematical models to automatically trade in and out of markets where it senses opportunities. But it will extend its remit from just futures contracts to more esoteric markets such as emerging market interest rate derivatives, credit indices and electricity contracts.

On the romantic side of things, shares in Cupid soared by 5.6 per cent after the internet matchmaker behind such websites as benaughty.com and flirt.com said it was growing so strongly that it is "now delivering a financial performance that is at least one year ahead of where the company expected to be when it floated in June 2010".

The City marked up Cupid's shares by 10.0p to 187p as the bullish trading statement added fuel to rumours that the US owner of Match.com could be ready to pounce on the company.

The aerospace and defence supplier Cobham saw its shares increase by 6p to 202.5p after its aviation division announced that it had secured a £42m contract to fly BHP Billiton miners in and out of remote mines in Yandi, which is based in the middle of nowhere, 1,100km north-east of Perth.

On the downward side of the market, the troubled miner Talvivaara also saw its stock decline – by 3.85p to 99.95p – after investors decided that the previous day's 2.8 per cent rise may have been a slight over-reaction. That jump was spurred by news that the company could restart its metals plant in Finland after a toxic waste water leakage was discovered earlier this month. Bumi, the London listed, Indonesia-focused coal miner co-founded by Nat Rothschild, fell by 7p to 259.8p amid continuing uncertainty about the future of the company.

Overall, trading volumes were thin as the markets in the US shut for Thanksgiving.

Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
VIDEO
Sport
Peter Moores was criticised for failing to handle top players when he last led the England team
sportFive years after being sacked from the job, Peter Moores to be named a cricket coach
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environment
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Telesales & Sales Support Apprentice

£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...

Client Relationship Manager - SQL, Python

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...

**Financial Services Tax**

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit