MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: ‘Under-appreciated’ Weir on the up

Weir Group was among just a handful of blue chip risers as a broker upgrade helped the pumps and valves manufacturer stay in the black.
Weir Group was among a handful of blue chip risersWeir Group was among a handful of blue chip risers
Weir Group was among a handful of blue chip risers

Citi lifted its rating on the stock to “buy” from “neutral”, calling its oil and gas opportunity “under-appreciated” and saying it could be attractive to potential acquirers given its strong market positions.

The shares were 20p higher at 2,735p on a day when the FTSE 100 Index was firmly on the back foot.

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William Nicholls, a dealer at Capital Spreads, said: “There is no ‘headline’ reason for the drop, it just seems as though the bulls have run out of energy for the time being.”

The FTSE 100 was down 42.54 points at 6,823.51, one of several European bourses giving back some of last week’s gains.

Miners and drillers were in retreat as metal and energy prices softened. Tullow Oil was the biggest top flight faller, down more than 3 per cent as a test well in which it holds a stake was reported to have come up dry. Its shares were 26.5p lower at 817.5p.

Miner Anglo American fell 11p to 1,510p after it said it would sell its 50 per cent stake in Lafarge Tarmac to Lafarge for a minimum value of £885 million.

The housebuilders were another drag on the market as FTSE 250 firm Taylor Wimpey kicked off a busy week of updates in the sector. Despite reporting a strong rise in sales and prices, Taylor Wimpey’s shares fell 3.1p to 114p as brokers pointed out that their recent run has stretched the prospective dividend yield.

The company’s outlook was judged to be too conservative to justify further rises in a sector, and shares in top flight peers Barratt and Persimmon also dropped. Barratt fell 9.7p to 372p, while Persimmon was 24p lower at 1,281p.