Belfast Telegraph

FTSE ends on a high as China update sparks rally from blue-chip mining stocks

A rally from blue-chip mining stocks in response to a strong economic update from China ensured the London market ended the week on a high.

The FTSE 100 Index closed up 7.88 points to 7,438.5, with investors snapping up resources stocks after Chinese manufacturing figures came in above expectations.

Shares in Antofagasta rose 23p to 1,058p, while Glencore climbed 7.5p to 367p, and Anglo American lifted 17.5p to 1,420p.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany's Xetra Dax and the Cac 40 in France both finished 0.7% ahead.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: " Mining companies are in demand after the Caixin survey of Chinese manufacturing came in above expectations.

"The August reading was 51.6, while traders were anticipating a drop to 50.9, from 51.1 in July.

"This is a private survey, and is deemed to be more impartial than the official figures from Beijing.

"A robust manufacturing sector in China is good news for basic resource stocks as the country is a major buyer of minerals."

In currency, the pound was handed a double boost following a report showing a bright performance from the UK manufacturing industry, while the US dollar fell on a lacklustre employment update.

Sterling was up 0.3% against the greenback at 1.297 after o utput in Britain's manufacturing industry unexpectedly pushed to a four-month high in August thanks to a jump in new work.

The closely watched Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed a reading of 56.9 last month, up from 55.3 in July and above economists' expectations of 55.

A reading above 50 indicates growth.

The US dollar was also suffering following a weak result for the American jobs market, with employers adding 156,000 new roles in August, below expectations of 180,000.

The outcome also knocked back the likelihood of the US Federal Reserve hiking American interest rates.

The UK currency was up 0.7% versus the euro at 1.091.

The price of oil price was down despite some US refineries - shut by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey - coming back online.

Brent crude was down 0.3% to 52.70 US dollars a barrel.

In UK stocks, shares in pharmaceuticals group Indivior tanked after the firm lost a patent case in the US that could enable rivals to better compete.

The firm finished as the biggest faller on the second tier after a US court ruling found that medicines developed by its rivals had not infringed Indivior's patents.

The ruling, by the District Court of Delaware, means rival Dr Reddy's can make a generic version of Indivior's key Suboxone Film treatment, used to treat heroin addiction.

The company, which specialises in drug addiction treatment, said that if the US Food and Drug Administration approves Dr Reddy's alternative treatment, it could lose up to 80% of its market share "within a matter of months".

Shares closed down more than 35% or 149p to 267.6p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index were Ashtead Group up 42p to 1,705p, Shire up 92p to 3,925.5p, Antofagasta up 23p to 1,058p, and Glencore up 7.5p to 367p.

The biggest fallers were Convatec Group down 7.3p to 279.6p, BT Group down 4.1p to 288.5p, Land Securities down 14p to 996p, and Kingfisher down 3.8p to 295.1p.

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