April 13, 2015

FTSE 100 suffers metal fatigue

The heavy weighting of the top-share index towards commodity plays hampered the Footsie today as mining shares took a pounding.


The FTSE 100 was down 25 at 7,064, with fallers outnumbering risers by three-to-one among the index’s constituents.


Mining stocks were prominent among the laggards, as US broker Citigroup wielded the axe on the sector with a research tome titled ‘End of the Iron Age.’


BHP Billiton (LON:BLT), 3.3% lower at 1,4162p, Anglo American (LON:AAL), 2.3% lower at 999p and Antofagasta (LON:ANTO), 2.5% down at 722p, were three of the four biggest blue-chip fallers on the day.


The other member of the less than fab four was Tesco (LON:TSCO), where there are concerns that the company could take a bath on its property valuations in its next set of results.


Financials did better, with HSBC (LON:HSBA) 1% higher at 618p after an upgrade from Morgan Stanley to ‘equal weight’, while Aviva (LON:AV.), up 1.2% at 561.5p, enjoyed its first day as official owner of Friends Life.


Among the tiddlers, oil explorer Argos Resources’ (LON:ARG) shares fell 15% to 6.375p after it got out of oil exploration business.


It has negotiated a farm–out of 75% of its acreage in the North Falklands Basin to Noble Energy and Edison International.


Elsewhere in the sector, Baron Oil’s (LON:BOIL) shares came to the boil, prompting the company to issue a statement saying it knew of no reason for the 32% share price rise.


Richland Resources (LON:RLD) has started pre-production work at its Capricorn sapphire project in Queensland, with earth now being shifted at the first planned pit and stones being recovered.


The news saw the company’s stock market value increase by a quarter.Epistem Holdings (LON:EHP) was another big mover, adding more than 20% to 320p after it moved closer to the launch in India of its diagnostic product for tuberculosis.


Tungsten miner W Resources (LON:WRES) jumped almost 13% to 0.9p after it announced it had fully repaid the US$800,000 Bergen loan entered into last year.


Shares in veterinary products firm Eco Animal Health (LON:EAH) surged close to 17% today on the back of news profits for the year were likely to exceed analysts’ expectations.


Symphony Environmental Technologies (LON:SYM) shed 21% despite posting narrower losses for 2014 of £390,000 against £778,000 the year before.



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