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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee