Shine has come off Scotgold’s shares

SHARES in Scotgold plunged by nearly a third yesterday after the miner put its plans to reopen the Cononish mine near Tyndrum in Stirlingshire on hold due to the falling price of gold, which has “severely dented market confidence”.

The company said the mine could provide “healthy returns” but had decided “the potential to raise the required equity financing for the project is considered to be severely challenging under current market conditions”.

Scotgold closed down 0.63p at 1.5p, having floated at 5p in February 2010.

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A lack of “market confidence” was also to blame for a fall on the FTSE 100, which closed down 27.9 points or 0.4 per cent at 6,430.12 as traders awaited interest rate decisions this week from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the United States Federal Reserve.

Myrto Sokou, analyst at Sucden Financial Private Clients, said: “Investors are being cautious ahead of interest-rate decisions from US Federal Reserve and the ECB. In the meantime people are locking in gains, and it makes absolute sense to see some consolidation.”

Despite yesterday’s fall, the Footsie still managed to record a 0.3 per cent gain during April, giving it a record-breaking winning streak that has lasted for 11 months, beating the ten-month records set in 1986-7 and 1996-7.

Royal Bank of Scotland was the biggest riser in the top flight, up 4.2 per cent or 12.3p at 306.6p after being boosted by resurgent first-quarter results from rival Lloyds Banking Group, which closed up 0.83p at 54.33p.

Oil giant BP climbed by 2.1 per cent or 9.65p to 466.4p after better-than-expected first-quarter results. The heavily-weighted stock added 7.2 points to the FTSE 100 index.

NEW YORK: US stocks closed with slight gains last night, with the S&P 500 ending at another all-time closing high on a rally in Apple and encouraging economic data.

The Dow Jones industrial 
average rose 21.05 points, or 0.14 per cent, to end at 14,839.80 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 3.96 points, or 0.25 per cent, to finish the day at 1,597.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 21.77 points, or 0.66 per cent, to close at 3,328.79.