Markets: Randgold is one of the few to glisten

GOLD company Randgold Resources was one of the FTSE 100’s few risers yesterday after a political settlement in Mali eased fears that its mines in the African nation would be put out of production.

Following news of the settlement, Randgold said its operations in the country had been largely unaffected by the recent military coup there. Fears of disruption had caused a recent slump in its shares, but the stock rebounded by 5 per cent or 270p to 5,425p.

The wider market suffered as the eurozone crisis made an unwelcome return to the headlines, prompted by a rise in Spanish and Italian borrowing costs. Yesterday was also the first chance for London to react to disappointing US job figures announced on Friday.

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Banking stocks bore the brunt with Barclays slipping 6 per cent or 13p to 206.3p. Royal Bank of Scotland fell 1.1p to 24.7p and Lloyds Banking Group declined 1.6p to 29.8p.

In a quiet session for corporate news, holidays firm Thomas Cook jumped 13 per cent after Monday’s confirmation that it was in advanced talks with lenders over extending its banking facilities through to 2015.

Aberdeen-based transport company FirstGroup was one of the biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 after being downgraded by analysts at both Barclays and Citigroup. The shares fell 7.2 per cent, or 15.4p, to 198.5p.

But shares in Dalgety Bay-based Havelock Europa soared by 14 per cent on news it had sold its display printing business for £15.3 million in a management buy-out and would use the cash to pay down its debt. The firm was up 1.88p at 15.88p.