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Market Update

by Bella Palmer

Resource stocks recovered on Friday following an uptick in metal prices while Smith & Nephew shares spiked on takeover rumours, yet primary London indices still ended the week in negative territory trailing declines on Wall Street.
The FTSE 100 ended 0.82% or 50.12 points lower at 6,052.42 points, while the FTSE 250 was 0.42% or 71.41 points lower at 17,105.87. At 1649 GMT, the Brent front-month futures contract was up 1.13% or 42 cents at $37.48 per barrel, while WTI was 1.34% or 47 cents higher at $35.42 per barrel, with a weaker dollar boosting prices.

 

Base metals also recovered across the board. In late afternoon trading on the London Metal Exchange, the three-month copper delivery futures contract was up 2.8% to $4,674 per metric tonne. Additionally, primary aluminium (up 1.8%), nickel (up 1.2%), lead (up 3.1%), tin (broadly flat) and zinc (up 2.0%) futures were also in positive territory.

 

Precious metals also recovered with the COMEX gold futures contract recovering from six-year lows to post an uptick of 1.44% or $15.10 at $1,064.70 an ounce, while spot gold was 1.49% or $15.70 higher at $1,066.80 an ounce. Away from gold, COMEX silver rose 2.97% or 41 cents to $14.11 an ounce, while spot platinum rose 2.03% or $17.15 at $860.93 an ounce.

 

In line with metal prices, Anglo American (up 5.73%), BHP Billiton (up 2.46%) and Randgold Resources (up 1.36%) were among the FTSE 100’s biggest gainers. However, BG Group (down 4.00%) bucked the wider resource stocks uptick to end the week on a negative note, despite receiving approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct and operate a natural gas liquefaction and export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

 

The FTSE 100 story of the session belonged to medical stock Smith & Nephew (up 4.64%), as Street Insider reported it maybe a takeover target for US-based Stryker. Although rumours about just such a transaction had been percolating through markets for a long time, they had not lost their power to influence the share price of both companies.

 

Elsewhere, Sports Direct was a little firmer after it put out a statement hitting back at allegations made in the Guardian last week. Finally, GlaxoSmithKline was in focus after its HIV business reached a couple of deals  with Bristol-Myers Squibb to acquire its late-stage HIV research and development assets as well as its portfolio of pre-clinical and discovery stage HIV research assets.

 

 

Important
This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
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