Miners dominate FTSE on upbeat Chinese data

Miners were boosted by positive Chinese data with Rio Tinto (RIO), Glencore (GLEN) and Anglo American (AAL) making the biggest gains in the sector.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK)was boosted by 6.4% as investors focused on a positive outlook and a hike in the dividend. The market overlooked a 39% decline in 2016 profit on lower revenue from generic medicine, increased investment and currency movements.

However, this wasn’t enough to move the FTSE significantly ahead of the hotly anticipated and expected interest rate rise from the US Federal Reserve later today.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil were $48.68 and $51.82 per barrel, respectively.

Gold was stable at $1,201 per ounce and copper rose 1% to $5,842 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Oil stocks were dragged lower on Tuesday as West Texas Intermediate hit a three-month low. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 were 0.2% and 0.3% lower as a result.

Asian markets were subdued on Wednesday with no significant movements as investors waited for the Federal Reserve’s decision, as well as any hints on any future action.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Pharma giant Astrazeneca (AZN) announced that results from the Phase 3 trial of its ovarian cancer treatment Lynparza demonstrated a ‘significant improvement in progression-free survival’. However, this failed to move the share price at £48.46.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Commercial property specialist LondonMetric Property (LMP) agreed the sale of three retail parks in Christchurch, Bedford and Maidstone for a combined £60.9m. The market’s response was subdued as the stock was flat at 151.3p.

Scandal-hit Sports Direct (SPD) announced a media story that claimed its chief executive-to-average employee ratio of 400:1 was ‘fake news’, although this didn’t stop the stock from nudging 0.5% lower.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Miner Gem Diamonds (GEMD) retreated 4.2% as it posted 2016 pre-tax profit declined 47% to $52.4m after mothballing the Ghagoo mine in Botswana due to a fall in diamond prices.

Oil producer Premier Oil (PMO) surged 12.6% as it locked in a final convertible bondholder to its proposed refinancing.

Savannah Petroleum (SAVP) signed a Letter of Award for with Great Wall Drilling Company Niger SARL for GWDC Rig 89. Management confirmed it expects to commence drilling operations during the first half of the year, causing the stock to jump 18.7%.

Mobile phones app store Mobile Streams (MOS) warned on full year earnings and revenue thanks to difficult trading conditions in Argentina, causing investors to mark the stock 13% lower.

Mobile casino operator Nektan (NKTN) reported its US subsidiary Respin Games signed its first major contract with a US casino operator to launch its real money in-venue games solution overseas. The stock rose 10.7% as the market was feeling lucky.

Shares in micro-cap US oil producer Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) soared 32% after it unveiled a 112% increase in oil reserves and 303% increase in natural gas reserves.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com