Dollar’s gain is downside for miners

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FTSE 100 CLOSE 5885.38 -6.78: MINING stocks took a tumble yesterday after strong economic data from the United States pushed up the dollar, which in turn dampened metal prices.

Weekly unemployment figures in America fell to their lowest level since March 2008, while manufacturing data also beat economists’ forecasts.

Russian steel and mining giant Evraz was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index, down 3.6 per cent or 15.5p at 420.8p, while Polymetal International was off 37p at 1,075p and Randgold Resources shares were down 175p at 6,980p.

The wider Footsie closed down 6.78 points at 5,885.38, having recovered from a low of 5,829.38 earlier in the session.

Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos accused EU leaders of “playing with fire” by delaying the next tranche of aid for the ailing country.CMC Markets senior market analyst Michael Hewson said: “Markets have traded with a much softer tone as concerns about deteriorating relations between Greek and European Union politicians fuel a suspicion that a Greece default is imminent.”

While miners were out of favour, supermarket shares were back in demand as investors looked for safer havens. Sainsbury’s soared to near the top of the risers’ board, up 5.9p to 296p, while Morrisons was 3.4p higher to 295.7p and Tesco was 2.3p ahead at 320.3p.

Computer games retailer Games Group continued its comeback from recent lows, rising 10.3 per cent or 0.61p to end the day at 6.53p.

Among the Scottish stocks, Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems added a further 6 per cent – climbing 6p to 106p – building on Wednesday’s near-10 per cent rise, which came on the back of a near-doubling in underlying profits.

NEW YORK: Wall Street ended up last night and the S&P 500 hit a nine-month high, fueled by strong US economic data and increased hopes for a deal on a Greek bail-out next week.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 123.28 points, or 0.96 per cent, at 12,904.23 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 14.84 points, or 1.10 per cent, at 1,358.07 by the close. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 44.02 points, or 1.51 percent, at 2,959.85.