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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
December 1, 2006

UK miners gain on broker remarks


by Elaine Frei

London’s equities markets were mixed on Friday. The FTSE 100 dropped 0.5 percent to close at 6,021.5 after falling as low as 5,985.2 during the day, bringing its decline over the week to 1.6 percent. On the other hand, the FTSE 250 added 0.2 percent on the session and was up by the same amount for the week, to close at 10,698.9.

Miners were higher, with Xstrata 2 percent higher to £23.26 and Antofagtasta adding 3.2 percent to 495p as Goldman Sachs predicted that commodities prices will be going up further. The broker put Xstrata on its “conviction buy” list.

Leisure group Rank dropped 2.9 percent to 270p after a rumored bid was not forthcoming and Citigroup downgraded it to “hold”. Meanwhile, cruise operator Carnival fell 1.9 percent to £24.29 on a reduced recommendation, from “buy” to “hold”, from Merrill Lynch.

In the pharmaceuticals sector, AstraZeneca dropped 2.1 percent to £28.90 as sterling gained ground over the US dollar.

Among insurance companies, Legal & General fell 2.2 percent to 148½p as bids rumors faded.

Construction materials group Hanson was 1.4 percent lower to 719p.

Bucking the trend among the blue-chips, Cairn Energy added 4.4 percent to £20.57. Cairn is preparing to spin off its India unit with an initial public offering in Bombay later this month. That IPO is estimated to be worth as much as $7.5 billion (£3.8 billion). In addition, there was talk that Cairn’s Indian partner, ONGC, might be interested in acquiring Cairn’s assets in Rajasthan.

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