Market update - 9 December

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The FTSE 100 was up 57.62 points at 4357.68 while the FTSE 250 built on last night’s gains to climb to 6109.28, up 160.51 points, at 11.48am today.

All eyes were on stocks likely to be reshuffled in the FTSE index review, the results of which are based on the price at close today and will be announced after close tomorrow. Randgold Resources, the FTSE 250-listed gold miner that was up 30p at 2510p this morning, is expected to move up to take a seat among the blue-chips while Fresnillo, the Mexican silver miner that was up a slight 0.1p at 138.4p, is pegged to drop down from the FTSE 100 to the FTSE 250.

Other candidates for relegation include Lonmin, the Anglo-South African platinum producer that was up 42p at 623.4p, and Stagecoach, the transport group that was up 8.4p up 123.2p. Besides the prestige attached to a FTSE 100 listing, index constituents attract investment from fund managers who track the benchmark index.

Moving up

Imperial Energy rebounded from last night’s lows, gaining 17.65 per cent or 150p to 1000p, after ONGC Videsh, the Indian oil & gas group that is attempting to acquire the business, said that it had posted an offer document to Imperial shareholders. The move comes after the Takeover Panel turned down ONGC’s request for an extension to the deadline by which it had to make the open offer to investors.

Moving down

Iron ore producer Ferrexpo fell back to 34.25p, down 8.05 per cent or 3p, after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock.

“The rapid slowdown in the steel making industry and resultant ‘buyers strike’ has impacted both iron ore volumes and spot prices. We expect the volume cuts in iron ore will proceed further into 2009 than indicated by the producers and flow on to coking coal production. The decline in demand will also impact the pricing outcomes in upcoming negotiations and we have lowered our pricing expectations for the bulks,” the broker said, moving Ferrexpo to “sell” with a 23p target price from “hold” with a 47 target price.

Elsewhere, Imperial Tobacco, down 8p at 1675p, was unsettled by proposals to ban the display of cigarettes and tobacco in English shops.