Shares of banking giant Barclays were performing well, helped by an upgrade from Investec, which recommended investors build positions following the stock’s recent underperformance.
Mining giant Vedanta Resources was also back on the up one day after yesterday reporting that it continues to see reduced iron ore sales as a result of the mining ban in the Karnatka state of south-western India. Sales of iron ore in the three months to the end of March were 5.2m tonnes, compared with the 6.6m sold in the same period of 2011.
The miners were benefiting from increased risk appetite following yesterday’s sell-off. The stock was also given a lift by US aluminium giant Alcoa which beat expectations in its first-quarter earnings report last night. Kazakhmys, Antofagasta, ENRC and Rio Tinto were all in demand.
BHP Billiton was on the up after announcing that approval for its $708m share in pre-commitment funding for the Mad Dog Phase 2 project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, telecoms titan BT Group was lower after a downgrade from JP Morgan Cazenove from overweight to neutral, saying it may struggle to grow revenues in 2012. Despite this, it still expects the firm to do well in the long-term and raise its dividend payments ‘substainably over time’.
FTSE 100 – Risers
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,736.00p +4.14%
Barclays (BARC) 214.70p +4.07%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,106.00p +3.17%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,564.00p +3.17%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 30.73p +3.10%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 574.50p +3.05%
G4S (GFS) 280.30p +2.64%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,185.00p +2.60%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 874.00p +2.46%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,030.00p +2.39%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
BT Group (BT.A) 213.10p -2.52%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,962.00p -1.16%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 647.50p -0.99%
Whitbread (WTB) 1,798.00p -0.94%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 692.00p -0.93%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 534.00p -0.74%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,400.00p -0.74%
Sage Group (SGE) 288.80p -0.72%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 286.00p -0.52%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,181.00p -0.51%