FTSE 100 has first down week of 2013

Though it finished the week on a bright note, Footsie ended the week 83 points lower than it started it, adding weight to the view that the New Year revival is starting to run out of steam.
Today’s advance was on the back of positive data from China. The emerging superpower’s exports and imports rose more than analysts had anticipated in January, showing signs of a global economic recovery.

Defensive stalwarts such as fags maker Imperial Tobacco, utility Severn Trent and drugs company AstraZeneca got the cold shoulder, as did precious metals miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo.

Among those setting the pace were engineering firms GKN (+3.9%) and Weir Group (+2.2%) higher. The former was wanted after data showed Chinese vehicle sales rose 49% year-on-year last month, which was good news for the automotive and aerospace specialist. Weir, meanwhile, got a boost from UBS, which raised its price target for the stock to £23 from £20.

Miners responded well to the news from China, particularly Anglo American, and ENRC, both of which were up 1.8%. The latter was named by Credit Suisse as one of its top picks in the mining sector, as was Rio Tinto, down 0.1%.

Aggreko (LON:AGK) powered 2% ahead after an upgrade from HSBC analysts this morning. Chilean miner Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) rose 0.7% on an upgrade from the same broker.

Investors were keen to take a punt on bookies and online gaming firms today on news that New Jersey could be relaxing its online gambling laws.

The American state’s governor Chris Christie said that he is willing to allow online gambling as long as certain conditions are met.

Christie said he would back a 10-year trial for online betting in New Jersey to help struggling casinos in the gambling mecca of Atlantic City.

bwin.party (LON:BP.Y) flew up 16%, contributing to a 75 point gain for the FTSE 250 at 13,375.

Other winners in the leisure sector included casino game specialists 888 Holdings (LON:888), up 17% and 32RED, up 4%. Plus gambling software designer Playtech (LON:PTEC), up 9%, sports betting company Sportech (LON:SPO), up 6%, and betting exchange operator, up 2%.

Old school bookies Paddy Power (LON:PAP), William Hill (LON:WMH) and Ladbrokes (LON:LAD) were also deemed worthy of a flutter.

Credit Suisse meanwhile piled more pressure on embattled platinum miner Lonmin (LON:LMI) today with a downgrade to ‘neutral’ that sent shares tumbling 1.6%.

In contrast, there was a positive response to results from Aquarius Platinum (LON:AQP), which gave a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for the hard hit platinum group metals (PGMs) producers.

“From a PGM supply and demand perspective there seems to be consensus that both platinum and palladium will move into primary supply deficit during 2013,” said the group’s chief executive, Jean Nel.

The small cap charge was led by Forte Energy and Arian Silver, which rose 19% and 14% respectively, closely followed by Iofina, up 13%.

African low-cost airline Fastjet (LON:FJET) gained altitude, rising 7% after it said forward bookings for February are running ahead of expectation.

A number of junior oil stocks put on a spurt today.

Sefton Resources (LON:SER) shares rose 2.4% after it revealed it has established oil production in north-east Kansas, while Trap Oil (LON:TRAP) acquired a third of the Trent East Terrace Area (TET), which contains the Trent East gas discovery, prompting a 1.8% share price uplift.

Magnolia Petroleum (LON:MAGP), however, dipped 1.6% after the Marathon Oil-operated Helgeson 41-30H well, in which it has a 5.5% working interest, was spudded on Monday.

New World Oil Gas (LON:NEW) joined the oil rush, with a 2.7% rise after CEO Bill Kelleher reaffirmed his excitement about the prospects for finding oil in Belize in a conference call with investors.

The AIM All-Share index closed up 4 at 746.

Article source: http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/market_reports/53487/ftse-100-has-first-down-week-of-2013-0000.html

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