FTSE 100 little changed after poor start to trading
The FTSE 100 charged back from a 1.5% decline during early trading to end the day little changed. London’s blue-chip index gained 0.1%, or 5 points, on the back of a surge from the mining sector and better than expected US retail sales. Investors have been struggling to show enthusiasm in the markets of late due to the uncertainty currently surrounding the US bond-buying program, which Ben Bernanke suggested could be drawing to a close in the back end of last month.
With markets across the globe showing fairly consistent declines of late, Miners have been bucking the trend of their fellow constituents and making solid gains as the price of gold rises — a common occurrence as investors look to safe-havens for their wealth. However, today the miners were rallying due to the relaxation of regulation in China. The worlds largest consumer of raw metals finally made the move to remove the requirement for an import license for iron ore, essentially allowing iron ore to be shipped into the nation as any other product.
This led to impressive gains in the mining sector, with Evraz Plc leading the way. Evraz advanced by 5.80 points, or 5.10%, to close the day at 119.50, followed by Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. Plc which climbed 7.40 points, or 3.17%, to a closing price of 240.70. Vendetta Resources PLC, Petrofac ltd and Rio Tinto PLC completed the index’s top 5 performers for the day with gains of 3.13%, 2.85% and 2.58% respectively.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC lead the index in declines as the 81% government owned high street bank looked to life without Stephen Hester, after the CEO’s departure was announced yesterday. Experian PLC fell by 2.40% on the news that it had purchased 200,000 shares at 10¢ (US) each. Rolls-Royce PLC declined by 23.00 points, or 1.93%. The decline was somewhat unexpected as BNP Paribas reaffirmed their “outperform” rating on the stock, suggesting that the company will see growth — albeit minimal.