Market Report: Miners surge after US Fed keeps interest rates on hold

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Mining giants had Janet Yellen to thank today as shares in some of the biggest London-listed companies hit highs for the year.

The US Federal Reserve chairman delivered the news that most investors had anticipated — that the Fed would hold interest rates. But she also made it clear that a rate rise before the end of the year was very much still on the cards. “I would expect to see [a rate rise] if we continue on this course of labour market improvement and there are no major new risks that develop.”

The announcement and plans for just two rises instead of three next year weighed on the dollar but boosted mining shares as it became cheaper for investors to hold metals priced in the US currency.

The heavyweight trio of BHP Billiton, up 39.12p at 1090.12p, Anglo American, 26.3p better at 915p, and Glencore, rising 6.5p to 203.6p, all traded at their highest level for this year. 

Glencore was also helped as analysts at Liberum removed their Sell rating after a surge in thermal coal prices. 

African gold producer Randgold Resources was the best performer on the FTSE 100, soaring 300p, or 4%, to 7980p, with the blue-chip index up 37.65 points to 6872.42.

Pearson, off 3.5p at 778.5p, suffered another blow as the US textbook publisher lost another City fan.

Exane BNP Paribas slashed its rating from Buy to Neutral in anticipation of weaker third-quarter’s trading in its higher education business.

Tech firm Micro Focus was up 18p to 2138p as it repeated its full-year guidance. It comes after the FTSE 100 company’s £7 billion reverse takeover of HP Enterprise’s software assets.

Oil-rig builder Lamprell improved 4.65p to 60.65p on the back of first-half results that met analyst forecasts. Revenues rose from $351 million (£270 million) to $451 million, but the late delivery of a rig caused a $4.4 million loss.

On AIM, small-cap fund manager Miton Group shrugged off the loss of its two star portfolio managers earlier this year as first-half profits jumped to £2.9 million from £600,000 last year.

The shares dived in April when it was announced George Godber and Georgina Hamilton were leaving Miton’s UK Value Opportunities fund. Today they were up 2p to 28.5p.


Ambassador: Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy represents Science in Sport (Getty)

Cycling nutrition firm Science in Sport, whose brand ambassadors include Sir Chris Hoy, trimmed first-half pre-tax loss to £841,000 from £1 million. Revenues raced up 24% to £6.5 million. Shares rose 1p to 68.75p.

Fishing Republic, the online fishing tackle retailer backed by former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, spooked investors when it said it had “rebased” — ie, downgraded — profit forecasts for this year. Shares fell 2.25p, or 5.56%, to 38.25p.

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September 22, 2016 |
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