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November 13, 2006

UK miners lower on falling metals prices

Permalink: UK miners lower on falling metals prices by Elaine Frei

London equities markets were mixed on Monday. The FTSE 100 was 0.2 percent lower to 6,194.2 as dropping metals prices sent the UK mining sector lower. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was 0.5 percent higher, closing at 10,712.8. It was the fifth session in a row that the 250 has done better than the 100.

Homebuilders were mixed on the session. Berkeley Group added 6.8 percent to reach a new high of £17.02 on rumors that a consortium had bid for peer Crest Nicholson. The gain brought Berkeley’s advance over six sessions to 19 percent. Crest Nicholson, on the other hand, was 0.1 percent lower to 615p even though it was believed that its institutional shareholders will wait for a higher offer.

The insurance sector was higher, mainly on Resolution’s announcement that it is discussing deals with several other insurers. The life assurer added 5.1 percent to 667½p. Different analysts suggested different deals, including one with Scottish Widows the life assurance division of Lloyds TSB, with the UK life division of Prudential, or with Friends Provident. The talk sent Lloyds TSB up 1 percent to 561p, while Friends Provident added 1.3 percent to 214½p and Prudential gained 2.1 percent to 651½p.

In the mining sector Rio Tinto was 4 percent lower to £27.65, while Xstrata dropped 4.5 percent to £21.92, Kazakhmys fell 5 percent to £11.40 on lower copper prices, and Antofagasta was 5.3 percent lower to 468¼p.

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