FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: Unloved miners keep FTSE anchored

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The London market’s heavyweight mining sector continued to hold it back as investors bought into rising markets elsewhere.

While Germany’s Dax notched up its seventh week of gains in a row and America’s Dow Jones hit new intra-day highs, the FTSE 100 slipped 7.03 points at 6,674.3.

Brenda Kelly, senior market strategist at IG, said: “The mining sector has been a thorn in the FTSE 100’s side all year, but the lack of interest in the sector more recently has seen the index decline for three consecutive weeks.”

Mexican miner Fresnillo was down 23p or 2.7 per cent at 840.5p, having lost more than half its value in the past year as precious metals lost their shine. And Vedanta Resources was down 3 per cent at 895p.

But the biggest faller was Thomson holidays owner Tui Travel, after Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen sold his entire 5.4 per cent stake in the company. Even though he has used the funds to increase his holding in Tui’s German parent company, the sale at 366p resulted in Tui’s share price declining almost 8 per cent, down 30.3p to 359p.

The FTSE 100 risers’ board was topped by leisure group Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn and Costa, as it benefited from JPMorgan Cazenove’s decision to upgrade it to “overweight”. The shares were 101p higher at 3,483p, an all-time high.

Chip maker Arm Holdings was also in favour as HSBC started coverage with a 1,120p price target. It added 27p at 991p.

And William Hill rose 1 per cent after Barclays Capital upgraded it and noted that shares were trading at a 21 per cent discount to the gaming sector despite market leading online margins. It gained 3p to 368.1p.