Belfast Telegraph

Bright news on Chinese economy boosts blue-chip mining stocks

London's top-flight index pushed higher on Monday after bright news on the Chinese economy gave a boost to blue-chip mining stocks.

The FTSE 100 Index rose 25.74 points to 7404.13, as the Far East nation secured better-than-expected economic growth of 6.9% in the second quarter, while industrial production outstripped forecasts and retail sales jumped 11% year-on-year.

Shares in Chilean miner Antofagasta rose more than 2%, or 19.5p to 878p, as investors expect a strong performance from the Chinese economy will mean the country's healthy appetite for resources will continue.

Copper miner Glencore was also up 4.7p to 320.8p, and Anglo American stepped up by 13.5p to 1.130.5p.

Across Europe, Germany's Dax was down 0.4% and the Cac 40 in France was 0.1% lower.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.3% versus the US dollar at 1.305, as Britain's Brexit secretary David Davis returned to the negotiating table in Brussels for the second round of talks with the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Sterling was also 0.3% down against the euro at 1.138.

Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said the pound would "jump back into the spotlight" on Tuesday as the latest update on UK inflation is published.

He said: " Analysts are expecting the figure to remain unchanged at a still eye-watering 2.9%, though it's worth noting that the number has outperformed forecasts for the last four months in a row."

The price of oil was charging ahead, but was unable to break through the 50 US dollar mark following a slowdown in the oil rig count across the United States.

The positive update from China also supported Brent crude, which rose 1.5% before paring gains to climb 0.9% to 48.84 US dollars a barrel.

In UK stocks, shares in ITV raced ahead after the broadcasting giant poached easyJet boss Carolyn McCall to fill its vacant chief executive position.

ITV surged more than 1%, or 2.3p to 177.3p, with Ms McCall taking over from Adam Crozier, who stepped down at the end of June. EasyJet shares rose 20p to 1,431p.

She has headed up the low-cost airline since 2010, prior to which she was chief executive of Guardian Media Group (GMG).

Troubled infrastructure giant Carillion was enjoying some relief on the second tier after investors cheered plans to appoint accountancy giant EY to help carry out a review of the business.

EY and Carillion will focus on "cost reduction and cash collection" following a torrid seven days for the firm.

Last week it suffered a dramatic collapse in its share price after announcing a profit warning which saw almost £600 million wiped from its value.

Shares in Carillion soared more than 19%, or 10.8p to 66.9p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index were Ashtead Group up 54p to 1,635p, Micro Focus International up 69p to 2,158p, Antofagasta up 19.5p to 878p, Provident Financial up 48p to 2,303p.

The biggest fallers were Imperial Brands down 57p to 3,442.5p, Experian down 24p to 1,564p, Sage Group down 7.5p to 675.5p, World Pay down 4p to 380p.