Market Report: Standard Chartered enjoys its best close in a month


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The Independent Online

The veteran Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands may be under fire but he has a few friends in the City.

JPMorgan bucked consensus yesterday with an upgrade to overweight for StanChart. The emerging markets bank surprised investors with a profit warning earlier in the year and shareholders are agitating for change at the top. But JPMorgan thinks the issues that have hit earnings could start to clear from the end of the year and believes the knockdown price makes it worth a punt.

Standard Chartered added 25.5p to 1,248p – its best close in a month but still a long way off the 1,837p registered just over a year ago.

The FTSE 100 rose 19.68 points to 6,807.75. The blue-chip index was supported by gains for Next, up 170p at 6,690p, and GKN, 22.9p better at 366p. The aerospace engineer posted as expected numbers but recent share price weakness meant it still saw a bounce.

BP lost 12.6p to 484.25p amid fears that tougher sanctions on Russia could harm the oil giant’s interests there.

Specialist chemical supplier Elementis reached the top of the mid-cap index after first-half pre-tax profit increased by 7.2 per cent and the company hiked its interim dividend by 5 per cent. Elementis added 13.3p to 270.7p.

It was a different story for Petra Diamonds. After strong results saw it surge to a record close, the precious stone producer tumbled 16.7p to 199.9p on news that the administrators for Awal Bank had sold 43 million shares in Petra at 190p overnight. Awal was put into administration by the Bahraini central bank in 2009.

Industrial maintenance group Brammer added 14.75p to 420p, thanks to double-digit growth in both underlying profit and revenue. Tiddler oil and gas explorer Antrim Energy more than doubled in value, up 3.62p at 6.87p, after revealing that a prospective resource report of the company’s properties offshore had discovered an estimated 1.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Strong mortgage approvals and an endorsement from Barclays helped Rightmove advance 57p to 2,265p. Rival Zoopla added 4.75p to 253.75p with both Barclays and Credit Suisse starting coverage with a buy.