Miners lift FTSE 100


Britain’s blue chip share index looks set to post a weekly gain for the first time in a month, with mining stocks heading higher on Friday.

Anglo American (LON:AAL) and Fresnillo (LON:FRES), up 1.8% each, led the charge, with giant Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) not far behind, climbing 1.6%.

Meggitt (LON:MGGT) rose 1.2% after UBS urged investors to buy the shares, while Burberry (LON:BRBY) was the biggest faller, down 2.5% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts cut their recommendation to ‘neutral’.

Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) managed to restrict losses to 0.6% after Goldman Sachs cut its target price almost in half to 155p.

That compares with the current price of 305p. 

An under pressure balance sheet leads Goldman to predict the dividend will be cut by half in 2015.

“If our operating cash flow forecasts for Sainsbury prove to be too low, then the magnitude of the cut may be less severe or unnecessary,” Walding added.

It follows a fall in quarterly sales from the supermarket giant, ending a nine-year run of growth.

The FTSE 100 rose 16 points or 0.3% to 6,560 as traders shrugged off more stringent sanctions on Russian officials linked to President Vladimir Putin.

On the mid-cap index, Crest Nicholson (LON:CRST) fell 4% to 383p after yesterday’s interim results.

Almost 40% of investors voted against the housebuilder’s remuneration report in Thursday’s AGM.

Reports also suggest Deutsche Bank is selling a 6.6% stake in the company.

There were large volumes of Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LON:GKP) shares traded the day after the oil group’s prospectus was released ahead of its move to the main market on Tuesday.

Investors took flight late in the trading day on Thursday on comments about the group’s cash reserves.

In the prospectus ahead of its move to the main market from AIM on Tuesday, the company, which is currently in talks with fixed income investors in the US, Europe and Asia about a US$250mln bond, said it would favour a debt financing. 

However, it said if there was insufficient demand or the terms were not good enough, it would need to raise cash by issuing equity.

The shares were flat today at 103.8p, valuing the company at £923mln.

Mobile commerce group MoPowered (LON:MPOW) has partnered with marketing company Affiliate Window to help its advertising groups direct smartphone users to their sites.

The recently-listed AIM group said Affiliate Window will now be able to ensure its advertisers now have a mobile commerce solution in place.

The tie-up helped the shares tick 2% higher to 110p, 10p above the price the shares went on offer for upon listing in December.

Shares in Brainjuicer (LON:BJU) hit an all-time high after the online market research agency announced plans to return £1.5mln to shareholders via a special dividend.

Shares rose more than 11% to 472p as the cash-rich company said it would pay another special dividend of 12.5p, following up on the 12.5p special dividend it paid in October 2013. 

It is sitting on a cash pile of £6.1mln.


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