Mining stocks send FTSE higher

Mining stocks send FTSE higher

The FTSE moved higher on Thursday as mining stocks tracked commodities prices higher.

By late morning, the FTSE 100 was up 26.2 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,237.5 while the mid-cap FTSE rose 29.8 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 11,124.1.

Overnight, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed little changed at 12,577.2 while in Asia, the Bank of Japan kept interest rates on hold.

Resources stocks were the big gainers in London, with Vedanta Resources up 2.7 per cent to £11.20 and Xstrata 2.1 per cent to £22.91.

ICAP, the inter-dealer broker, firmed 2.7 per cent to 509½p as Citigroup reiterated a “buy” rating on the stock and upped its price target from 565p to 570p.

Pearson, owner of the Financial Times, rose 1.9 per cent to 840p on reports of bid interest from private equity group KKR.

In the mid-caps, shares in London Stock Exchange rose 0.7 per cent to £13.17 after the second round in its attempt to stave off Nasdaq’s hostile bid began with its latest defence document. Among other measures, the company pledged to increase the value of its share buyback to £250m.

Misys, the health sector and insurance software specialist, jumped 5.6 per cent to 239¾pas it announced far-reaching changes in its boardroom. Mike Lawrie, the group’s new chief executive, said the performance of its healthcare operations had been “unacceptable”.

Kesa Electricals, rose 2.6 per cent to 351¾p after the company behind the Comet retail chain reported a 7.3 per cent increase in sales over Christmas.

Weir Group, the mid-cap engineer, was 4.3 per cent stronger at 562½p after it said annual profits would reach the top of consensus forecasts.

However, Hikma Pharmaceuticals dropped 2.8 per cent despite forecasting full-year revenue growth of 20 per cent.

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