Investors continue to support markets with miners leading the way on hopes of further central bank moves
Investors are not selling in May so far, defying the old stock market adage.
Despite the FTSE 100 recording its eleventh monthly rise in a rose – the best performance since the index began in 1984 – it has added another 24.17 points to 6454.29. Early days yet of course, but the continuing hope of further moves by central banks to stimulate the global economy continue to spur the market on.
Later comes the US Federal Reserve and on Thursday is the monthly update from the European Central Bank, which is widely expected to cut rates. Any disappointments from these meetings are likely to be taken badly. The US non-farm payrolls, an important indicator of the state of the world’s largest economy, are out on Friday.
The mining sector was among the gainers despite China’s manufacturing index slipping from 50.9 in March to 50.6 last month, adding to concerns about economic growth in the region. Most analysts however said the new Chinese government’s plans for infrastructure investment should keep things ticking over.
Chilean mining group Antofagasta added 29p to 926.5p after a 13% rise in first quarter copper production and strong cost control. Mining investors have been concerned about soaring costs but Antofagasta said they were flat in the first three months of the year. Canaccord Genuity said:
Total copper produced in the quarter was 183,800 tonnes ahead of our 177,900 tonnes estimate. Cash costs were a lot better than we had expected with gross cash costs at 172c cents a pound, well below our 187 cents estimate.
Randgold Resources has risen to the top of the leading index, up 175p at £52.35 ahead of an update on Thursday and despite a pay revolt by investors on Monday.
An exception to the sector optimism was controversial Kazakh miner Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, 7.4p lower at 267p on news of another possible investigation by City regulators.
A number of companies went ex-dividend including insurer Admiral, down 40p at £12.41, Reed Elsevier, 21p lower at 731p and ITV, off 3.4p at 122.5p.
Home Retail, the owner of Argos and Homebase, dipped 0.1p to 155.7p as profits fell for the fifth year to £91m but met analyst forecasts.
Rival Dixons Retail has risen 1.07p to 36.17p after Deutsche Bank raised its price target from 36p to 41p with a buy recommendation. Ahead of an update on 16 May analyst Charlie Muir-Sands said:
We expect sales for the 16 weeks to end April to follow a similar pattern to the third quarter: robust sales growth in markets where Dixons is market leader (mainly UK and northern Europe) offset by ongoing weakness in peripheral divisions. We make no material changes to our forecasts. However, recent (admittedly small) disposals [equanet and Webhallen] increase our conviction that management is serious about restructuring/ disposing of these loss-making businesses.
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Seeker Tec International, Inc. Announces International Appointment (www.Seeker-Tec.com)
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