Stimulus hopes feed meagre gains
A SOLID performance from heavily-weighted mining stocks helped Britain’s top share index scrape into positive territory yesterday despite ex-dividend factors and a gloomy update from the Bank of England.
The market had suffered as Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King downgraded his forecast for the UK economy but staged an afternoon rally amid speculation that the report will clear the way for more money printing.
Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads, said: “Once again, the only thing that prevented a wider sell-off was the increased likelihood that central banks will step up their stimulus measures in order to prevent an even deeper and prolonged recession.”
The FTSE 100 index ended the day 4.7 points higher at 5,845.9 despite 15 blue-chip stocks losing their latest dividend rights.
Mining giant Rio Tinto gave the mining sector a boost as its 34 per cent slide in first-half profits was not as bad as analysts had feared.
Its shares were 89.5p higher at 3,220p as the miner also said it expected a pick up in demand in the fourth quarter.
Xstrata added 15.6p to 912.5p and Anglo American cheered 19.5p to 2,027.5p.
Under-fire bank Standard Chartered recouped some of its recent losses as it made clear it would defend itself against allegations from the New York regulator and some brokers decided the sell off had been overdone. Shares lifted 7 per cent to close at 1,315.5p.
Among the Scottish stocks, Stirling-based loft insulation maker Superglass saw shares soar by a third despite making no announcement.
The shares have been traded in much higher volumes than usual in the last week, and on Tuesday it announced a shake-up in ownership levels among some institutional investors. Yesterday shares were 1.9p higher at 7.25p.
NEW YORK: On Wall Street, stocks meandered as traders looked for, but did not find, signals to push higher.
“There’s been a little bit of pullback, a little bit of profit-taking, but we don’t really see a lot of action,” said a trader.
In afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 15.37 points at 13,153.23.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West