Market Report: Surge of copper miners led by Chilean operator

There was really only one game in town yesterday, as a surge in London's miners dominated the FTSE 100. Seven of the top 10 risers were in mining, as commodity prices stormed higher.

In the wake of G20 finance ministers meeting over the weekend, and the continuing weakness of the dollar, the dominant performer was Antofag-asta, which closed the day at the top of the index. The Chilean-based copper miner was helped by Goldman Sachs, which upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral", as copper prices hit a 27-month high yesterday. It finished on 1,321p, a rise of 52p.

The broker also raised the price target of Kazakhmys from 1,650p to 1,790p, and investors reacted positively, sending the mining group storming higher, closing up 47p to 1,380p. Among the other risers in the sector, Xstrata saw a 1,324p increase to 34.5p despite being cut by Evolution Securities to neutral.

The strength of the sector meant the FTSE 100 was up, gaining 10.6 points to 5,751.9. Of the non-miners in the top 10, Burberry performed the best. The fashion brand saw a rise of 32p to 1,026p off the back of the weekend's news that Louis Vuitton parent LVMH had acquired a 14.2 per cent stake in Hermès. The news provided a boost for luxury stocks around the world, and Citi stated that LVMH's activities "might signal renewed M&A activity in the sector".

Burberry was not the only beneficiary of good news from overseas, as Unilever's Indian unit, Hindustan Unilever, yesterday announced a 32 per cent increase in net profit. This came in the wake of an increase in advertising and the raising of prices of certain products including soaps and detergents. In response, Unilever's shares enjoyed a 16p rise to 1,856p.

Meanwhile, InterContinental Hotel Group revealed that its revenue per room in the Americas was up nearly 7 per cent, with the strong performance coming about as a result of the relaunch of the group's Holiday Inn hotels in the region. Panmure Gordon flagged the release of third-quarter results in November as well as an investor event in the same month as "further opportunities for positive share price momentum", and increased the target price to 1,370p from 1,235p. As a result, shares in the group climbed, closing on 1,225p, an increase of 12p.

Languishing at the foot of the index was Lloyds Bank Group after Credit Suisse reduced its target price by 8p to 79p. As well as citing worries about near-term capital returns, the broker – which maintained the stock's "outperform" rating – also picked out falling prices in the property market as having a potentially negative impact. It closed at 68p, down 3.85p.

The banking sector was further hit by comments yesterday from the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who warned against excessive bonuses. "No one listening to the Chancellor's statement last week will be under any doubt of the government's collective determination to ensure that banks act in the interests of the wider economy," he said, "and that, in the new year, they must not engage in another self-indulgent bonus round."

A note from UBS on the UK capital goods sector saw it downgrade Invensys from "buy" to "neutral", and the engineering group ended up falling 8.8p to finish at 311.6p. The broker said that the "sector may have overshot 'fair value'," adding: "The premium to the market is at peak, the discount to European engineers eradicated, our discounted cash flow valuations find little upside and some macro inventory indicators look stretched."

Also hovering near the foot of the top tier was the publishing group Pearson, which owns the Financial Times as well as Penguin. It closed on 947.5p, a drop of 28.5p, despite releasing a trading update yesterday which raised the group's profit forecast, the second time this year it has done so.

The FTSE 250 also had a strong day, finishing on 10,978.1, a gain of 83.4 points. One of the groups leading the way was the London Stock Exchange, rising 35p to 740p. It benefited from the news that emerged overnight of the S$10.7bn (£5.3bn) acquisition of the Australian Stock Exchange by the Singapore Stock Exchange, which has resulted in the creation of the fifth largest listed exchange group in the world. The sale prompted an increased appetite among traders for LSE shares, which is no stranger to rumours of a takeover itself. It closed up 35p to 740p.

Close to the top in the mid-tier was technology company Fidessa, which jumped 92p to 1,722p. Traders were unsure about why it was enjoying an uptick, but there was talk of a significant buy order in the market.

Last week, market speculation that Micro Focus International was a potential takeover target for US technology giant IBM, saw the Berkshire-based software company's shares rise. However, it struggled yesterday as traders lost their enthusiasm for the story, and it closed at 399.2p, following a drop of 12.3p.

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
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
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?
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
VIDEO
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
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
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
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
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
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
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