Market report: Gold and silver rush starts as Footsie loses its lustre

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Any bullish investors quick to quash predictions of a market crash certainly aren’t putting their money where their mouths are.

The Footsie’s rally this year ran out of steam in October, having received a boost from the weak pound since the Brexit vote.

Some nervy stock-market players, including hedge-fund guru Crispin Odey, who predicted the downturn in 2008, suggest a market correction is on the way. 

However, that dive has yet to materialise with stronger-than-expected data after the referendum.

The FTSE 100 ended a tepid month of trading in the red, sinking 20.62 points to 6975.64, with just over a week left before Americans vote on their next president.

The disclosure over the weekend that the FBI has reopened its investigation into Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of email kept buyers on the sidelines today with the race for the White House now too close to call.

“The prospect of the final week’s campaigning for the US presidential election ending up as an increasingly complex affair has the potential to subdue markets,” argued Tony Cross, market analyst for TopTradr.

The nerves prompted a flight to safety as investors stocked up on shares in producers of safe-haven assets gold and silver. 

African gold firm Randgold Resources rose 80p to 7080p and Mexican silver miner Fresnillo was up 13p at 1625p.

Brent crude drifted further below $50 a barrel, down 12 cents at $49.59, as non-Opec countries made no firm commitment to follow Opec  by limiting oil production to prop up the flagging price.

Royal Dutch Shell, the biggest London-listed company by market value, fell 28.1p to 2126.9p, and BP, another mainstay of pension funds, slipped 7.55p to 484.6p. BP and Shell report third-quarter results tomorrow. 

The sector’s decline was just as apparent on the mid-cap index, where debt-laden Tullow Oil, relying heavily on a return to form for the oil price, dipped 10.5p to 270.5p. Shares in clothing retailer Next, off 136p, or 2.7%, at 4838p, were hung out to dry ahead of what analysts expect to be a painful third-quarter update on Wednesday.

The former high street star’s market value has shrunk by a third this year. 

Egyptian gold miner Centamin was 0.13p cheaper at 155.97p, losing its early shine after it said full-year production would be at the top end of guidance.

Elsewhere, despite the wobbly IPO market, FreeAgent, which provides accounting software for small businesses, unveiled plans to list on AIM. 

The company is looking to raise  £8 million, giving it a market capitalisation of between £31 million and  £35 million.

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November 1, 2016 |
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