Glencore Xstrata topped the blue chip risers’ board yesterday after brokers praised its new $17.3 billion (£11.1bn) credit deal. The shares added 3.2 per cent at 315.9p with traders also encouraged by the appointment of former Morgan Stanley boss and renowned cost-cutter John Mack as a senior director.
Ronnie Chopra, head of strategy at Tradenext, said: “In our view developments have created an ideal cut-price opportunity to buy into one of the largest diversified miners in the world. Our end-of-year target is 400p as cost-cutting measures and improved margins come through.”
The FTSE 100 index had a day of relative calm following recent selling, closing just 3.63 points higher at 6,308.26.
Royal Bank of Scotland shares edged 1p higher to 316p despite a flurry of “sell” notes from brokers concerned about the uncertainty caused by Stephen Hester’s departure as chief executive later this year.
Banks were also in the spotlight for further rate-rigging misdemeanors as Singapore’s central bank censured 20 institutions for attempting to rig benchmark rates, including UK players RBS, Barclays and HSBC.
With no actual fines dished out at this stage, HSBC slipped 10.3p to 680.1p while Barclays edged up 1.2p to 297.7p.
Water giant Severn Trent was also on the fallers’ board, down 25p to 1,760p as investors continued to desert the stock in the wake of this week’s failure to engage in talks with an overseas takeover consortium.
Fashion chain Next was 35p lower at 4,553p after weekly figures from John Lewis showed a rare drop in sales. But Marks & Spencer added 5.6p at 448.4p as it emerged Blackrock had not reduced its 5 per cent stake in the high street stalwart as previously reported.
NEW YORK: US stocks fell last night to close their third negative week in four as concern lingered over whether the world’s central banks will soon begin to rein in stimulus programmes.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 105.90 points, or 0.70 per cent, to end at 15,070.18 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed down 9.64 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 1,626.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 21.81 points, or 0.63 per cent, to finish at 3,423.56