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Markets: Barclays heads FTSE’s risers’ board

  • by DOMINIC JEFF
 

Shares in Barclays leapt more than 6 per cent yesterday as an upgrade from Goldman Sachs coincided with the market’s renewed appetite for risk assets.

The bank was the Footsie’s top performer, up 15.6p at 249.8p, as Goldman issued a “buy” note speculating that Barclays will announce plans to restructure its operations early next year.

Encouraging comments from US politicians suggesting they will agree a deal to avoid slashing the federal budget in January also helped shares, along with progress on Greek aid talks. The FTSE 100 Index added 132.1 points or 2.4 per cent, equalling its biggest rise this year to reach 5,737.7. David Madden, market analyst at IG, said: “Everybody loves to buy cheap stocks but traders need the right motive.”

The improved economic optimism helped commodity stocks, which bore the brunt of last week’s sell off. Eurasian Natural Resources lifted 5 per cent to 272.1p and Randgold Resources cheered 305p to 6,655p.

HSBC rose 22.5p to 618.3p after confirming talks over a deal to sell its sizeable stake in China’s Ping An Insurance.

Outside the top flight, outsourcer Mitie fell 3 per cent to 280p despite positive broker comments after half-year profits fell 13 per cent due to a series of one-off losses.

Aga Rangemaster’s shares jumped 11 per cent or 6p to 62p after it said trading for its major brands had shown encouraging signs, driven by the launch of additional ranges.

Shares in AG Barr were untroubled after the Office of Fair Trading said it was looking at how the Irn-Bru maker’s proposed merger with soft drinks rival Britvic will affect competition in the sector.

The move is standard practice and Barr’s stock was up 2.5p at 469.5p.

NEW YORK: Wall Street advanced for a second session yesterday as investors were encouraged by the early atmosphere surrounding talks to tackle the US “fiscal cliff.”

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 207.58 points, or 1.65 per cent, to close at 12,795.89 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 27.00 points, or 1.99 per cent, at 1,386.88 by the end of the day. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 62.94 points, or 2.21 per cent, at 2,916.07.

 

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