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April 7, 2015

FTSE 100 makes up for lost time

With US markets having racked up good gains while Britain celebrated Easter Monday, UK shares had some catching up to do.


The FTSE 100 registered a triple digit rise today, with all but three index constituents in positive territory.


The top-share index closed at 6,962, up 128 points.


Copper mining giant Rio Tinto rose more than 4% to 2,862p after traders speculated Glencore (LON:GLEN) may be mulling another merger approach after being rebuffed last year.


Reports over the weekend that the Mongolian government had agreed ‘in principle’ to an expansion of the jointly-owned mine Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, which also helped boost Rio’s share price.


Commentators suggested the agreement paved the way for a wave of foreign investment into the country.


Indeed, BG Group today announced its first foray into the country through a farm–in agreement with AIM-listed oil exploration company Petro Matad (LON:MATD).


Footsie giant BG will take a 78% interest in blocks IV and V in Mongolia in return for US$28mln of exploration work.Petro Matad will also receive an initial payment of US$2.75mln and US$50,000 per month for 36 months.


Following the transaction Petro Matad will continue to hold a 100% interest in block XX and 22% interest in blocks IV and V.


Shares in Petro soared 65% to 8.875p while BG’s shares rose 6.7% to 910.4p.


One of the few blue-chip fallers was British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines (LON:IAG) after broker heavyweight JP Morgan downgraded the group to ‘neutral’ from ‘overweight’. Shares fell 1.2% to 591.5p.


Among small caps, Wildhorse Energy (LON:WHE) galloped forward 3p to 6.375p on news of a potential acquisition of a resource project.


Coal miner Atlantic coal (LON:ATC) reported better sales and production in its first quarter with good headway made at its Stockton mine. Shares jumped nearly 8% to 0.146p, having reached 0.17p at one point.


ZincOx Resources (LON:ZOX) advanced a penny to 9p after it resolved a mix-up that caused its web site to be unavailable last week.


The company discovered that a luxury retail goods manufacturer, through its US attorney, obtained an injunction against the use of the domain name www.zincox.com for allegedly selling counterfeit retail goods.


The attorney did not have the courtesy of informing ZincOx and it was not until last Friday afternoon that ZincOx found out, whereupon it set about getting the injunction lifted over the Easter weekend.


Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) climbed 11.8% to 0.95p after it upped its stake in Turkish gold miner Ariana Resources (LON:AAU). The investment vehicle bough 11mln Ariana shares at 0.9p a pop.


IPSA (LON:IPSA) powered 8.8% higher to 1.85p after its South African subsidiary Newcastle Cogeneration extended its power purchase agreement with Eskom, South Africa's state electricity company, for a year with an option for further two year extensions.



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