FTSE up on China-happy miners as Wall St firms

Metal burrowers propelled the FTSE higher following encouraging manufacturing data out of China, a key metals consumer, while financial and utility outfits were prominent among the entourage.

At 5 p.m., the FTSE 100 was up 58.98 points, or 0.87%, to 6802.92, while the FTSE 250 was up 117.31 points, or 0.75%, to 15,840.9.

In the US, the Dow was up 126 points to 16,954, the Nasdaq rose 49 points to 4457 and the S&P 500 added 13 points to 1973. In Asia today, the Nikkei closed up 164 points at 15,326, while the Hong Kong markets are closed for a public holiday.

Anglo American (AAL) was in pole position, up 3.99% to 1487p, followed by Fresnillo (FRES), up 3.04% to 898.5p, and Rio Tinto (RIO), up 3% to 3201.75p.

This after data showing China's manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace for six months in June. China's official purchasing managers' index came in at 51 in June, from 50.8 in May.

Broader energy issues were not far off the heat. National Grid (NG.) rose 1.85% to 855.5p, while Severn Trent (SVT) edged up 1.55% to 1962p, and United Utilities (UU.) added 1.25% to 893p.

Financial stocks Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY), up 1.7% to 75.51p, Barclays (BARC), up 1.5% to 216p, Aviva (AV.), up 1.67% to 519p, and Schroders (SDR), up 1.36% to 2540p, also gained among a slew of their sector buddies.

Also-rans included various pharmaceutical, commercial property and retail stocks.


Mobile commerce was not growing as quickly as hoped for specialist software supplier MoPowered (MPOW:AIM), which became the latest recent AIM IPO to flop. Larger contracts were moving to the right capping revenue growth. The shares collapsed, down 51.63% to 29.75p.

Oil and gas play San Leon Energy (SLE:AIM) gained 55.78% to 3.1p as it struck a deal aimed at exploiting the potential in its Polish shale gas assets. Palomar Natural Resources, founded by John Buggenhagen, former exploration director of San Leon, and Robert Price, will take 65% stakes in the Siekierki and Rawicz gas fields in return for a carried work programme and $20 million up front payment.

Max Petroleum (MXP), an oil and gas company focused on Kazakhstan, has commissioned a new oil pipeline, and associated Makat oil terminal facility, connecting its Zhana Makat field with the regional oil export pipeline about 10km away. Its shares rose 14.89% to 1.35p.

Solid state battery technology developer Ilika (IKA:AIM) leapt 12% to 70p after unveiling a major breakthrough in the scale of its kit.


The US final manufacturing PMI for June totalled 57.3, against a preliminary reading of 57.5, data from Markit showed. The result was a shade below forecasts of 57.5.

US Institute for Supply Management data's PMI slipped to 55.3 in June, from 55.4 in May. The market had expected a reading of 55.8.

The UK manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 57.5 for June, from 57 previously and against forecasts for a reading of 56.7.

The euro zone final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) eased to 51.8 in June, from 52.2 in May and against forecasts for a reading of 51.9.

The number of jobless people in Germany rose 9000 in June, out of kilter with forecasts for a drop of 9000 and against a rise of 24,000 previously. The nation's unemployment rate was steady at 6.7%.


Cabling and electronics manufacturer Volex (VLX) has gone cap in hand to investors for £18.1m of new funding via a share placing and open offer. Priced at 75p a share, a fairly modest 6% discount to last night’s 79.25p close, might suggest that investors are willing to back management’s turnaround strategy. Its shares rose 6.94% to 84.75p.

Pumps and motors specialist Hayward Tyler (HAYT:AIM) slipped 0.92% to 82.5p, perhaps on profit taking, as operating profits for the 12 months to 31 March come in £300,000 ahead of house broker finnCap’s forecast at £4m.

Hangar 8 (HGR8:AIM), one of Europe’s largest operators of privately owned passenger Jet aircraft operators, surged 6.75% to 269p on an upbeat trading update.

Property regeneration specialist St Modwen Properties (SMP) improved 3.49% to 371.1p on a 10% dividend hike to 1.4p a share for the six months to June. The payout hike comes after a 32% jump in pre-tax profits for the year to end November.