U.K. Stocks Advance as Mining Shares Rise; Invensys, Weir Jump
U.K. stocks rose for a second day as mining companies climbed with metal prices and Invensys Plc led industrial shares higher.
Antofagasta Plc (ANTO) and Kazakhmys Plc (KAZ) advanced more than 3 percent as copper rose to a one-week high in London. Invensys surged 4.3 percent as Whirlpool Corp. raised its earnings forecast. Weir Group Plc jumped to a 21-year high as the world’s largest maker of pumps for the mining industry increased its profit forecast.
The benchmark FTSE 100 Index (UKX) advanced 30.2, or 0.5 percent, to 5,753.85, extending this year’s gain to 6.3 percent as the economy emerges from recession. The FTSE All-Share Index (ASX) increased 0.6 percent and Ireland’s ISEQ Index (ISEQ) rose 1.1 percent.
“Commodity shares are playing their part once again,” said David Jones, London-based chief market strategist at IG Index. “Looking ahead it is going to be company earnings that drive sentiment.”
Per-share earnings at western European companies have topped analysts’ estimates by an average of 14 percent since the U.S. earnings season began on April 12, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Antofagasta advanced 7.1 percent to 1,064 pence as copper led base metals higher in London. Kazakhmys, which today announced plan to sell almost half of its Aktogay project to China’s Jinchuan Group Ltd., climbed 3.5 percent to 1,480 pence. Xstrata Plc, the world’s fourth-largest copper producer, climbed 2.3 percent to 1,194 pence.
Invensys, which manufactures controls for Whirlpool, rallied 4.3 percent to 340 pence as the world’s largest appliance maker boosted its 2010 profit forecast and posting earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
Weir soared 8.7 percent to 1,017 pence, the highest close since 1989. The company increased its full-year profit forecast after saying it performed better than expected in the first quarter.
Chloride Group Plc, Britain’s largest maker of backup power equipment, jumped 42 percent to a record 297 pence after rejecting a 723 million-pound ($1.12 billion) takeover approach from Emerson Electric Co.
Cookson Group Plc rallied 6.8 percent to 607 pence after the world’s biggest maker of ceramic linings for metal smelters forecast an increase in first-half profit of as much as 20 percent.
Wolseley Plc (WOS), the world’s largest supplier of heating and plumbing products, climbed 2.4 percent to 1,698 pence as Exane BNP Paribas raised its recommendation for the shares to “outperform” from “neutral.”
The following stocks also rose or fell. Stock symbols are in parentheses:
Bank of Ireland Plc (BKIR ID) rallied 6.1 percent to 1.91 euros after earlier falling as much as 6.7 percent. The country’s biggest bank by market value announced plans to raise as much as 3.4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) to bolster capital. Sebastian Orsi, an analyst at Merrion Capital in Dublin said the transaction terms looked “attractive.”
U.K. Coal Plc (UKC LN) dropped 2.7 percent to 55 pence after the largest producer of the fuel from British mines posted a wider full-year loss as production and prices fell.