FTSE gets boost from miners as global trade tensions ease


A recovery in mining stocks helped Britain’s top share index climb to a one-month high on Tuesday, as concerns around global trade continued to ease.

The blue chip FTSE 100 .FTSE index was up 0.4 percent at 7,222.80 points by 0826 GMT, while mid caps .FTMC also rose 0.4 percent.

The materials sector was the biggest contributor to gains, adding around 13 points to the index, recovering following some large losses in the previous session when stocks with exposure to Russia were hit after the United States unveiled new sanctions on Russian officials, oligarchs and their companies last week.

Shares in Evraz (EVRE.L), a Russian steel producer which plunged 14.5 percent in the previous session, recovered some of those losses to trade 3.9 percent higher.

Likewise Glencore (GLEN.L) rose 2 percent after the mining giant suspended a deal to swap its shares in Russian aluminium producer Rusal for Global Depository Receipts in EN+ due to the sanctions.

Both Rusal and EN+ (ENPLq.L) were targeted by the U.S. measurers.

“Glencore shares were hit, but we think that the market has overreacted – in a worst-case scenario the foregone business from Rusal volumes is worth around 0.9 percent of 2018 (estimated) EBITDA, whilst if the Rusal stake on the balance sheet (US$933m) is worth zero, this would be around 1.3 percent of Friday’s market cap,” wrote Bernstein mining analyst Paul Gait in a note.

More broadly, stronger metals prices and a rise in oil on the back of easing concerns over global trade underpinned the FTSE’s commodities-related stocks.

Last week risk assets were hit by an escalation in tensions between the United States and China, with investors worried that the tariffs would leads to a full-blown trade war.

However, a promise from Chinese President Xi Jinping to lower import tariffs on products such as cars helped soothe market nerves.

“President Xi’s speech overnight appears to have struck the right tone, providing some relief for investors who have been buffeted by the recent war of words between Trump and China over trade,” said Rebecca O’Keefe, head of investment at Interactive Investor.

Elsewhere, shares in Burberry (BRBY.L) rose 2.4 percent, buoyed by a well-received first quarter sales update from French luxury peer LVMH (LVMH.PA).

British greeting card retailer Card Factory (CARDC.L) topped the gainers among mid cap stocks .FTMC, its shares rising 6.6 percent after reporting a rise in annual sales and saying that it planned to declare a special dividend in September.


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Author Kit Rees

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