Wednesday, 16 November 2016

FTSE up as energy and defensive stocks recover

Britain's top share index advanced for a second straight day on Tuesday, with energy and precious metals shares tracking a rally in crude oil and precious metals prices.

However, miners lost ground following a sharp drop in prices of industrial metals as traders cashed in gains after last week's dramatic price spikes triggered by Donald Trump's U.S. presidential election victory.

Tuesday's moves halted a recent rotation into miners and financials from defensive equities with high yields such as utilities, which slumped in the previous session following a sharp rally in bond yields.

"Bond markets have soured on the prospect of Trump-led inflation, although the sell-off seems to have abated somewhat as investors pause for breath," Neil Wilson, analyst at ETX Capital, said.

"Reversals in the last week's moves in stocks and bonds are possible and we may be seeing the start of this today as gold firms and bond yields retreat a little. The great bond market sell-off may have run its course."

British utility stocks rose as euro zone government bond yields dropped across the board after a six-week sell-off. Shares in SSE , United Utilities , National Grid  and Severn Trent  rose 1.9 to 2.7 percent.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE was up around 0.8 percent after gaining 0.3 percent in the previous session. The index is up more than 9 percent so far this year.

The UK mid-cap index .FTMC rose 0.9 percent.

Energy shares were the top sector performers, with the UK oil and gas index  rising 2.4 percent after oil prices gained around 2 percent on optimism that OPEC will agree later this month to cut production to reduce a supply glut.

Shares in BP , Tullow Oil  and Royal Dutch Shell rose 2.1 to 4.6 percent and 3 percent respectively.

Precious metals miners were also in demand after prices of gold XAU= rebounded from their lowest level in nearly six months on Monday. Randgold Resources and Fresnillo rose 2.4 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.

Retail stocks were also up. Britain's biggest supermarket chain Tesco  was up 4 percent after data showed its sales grew at the fastest rate in three years in its most recent trading period. Shares in Sainsbury's and Morrisons  were 4 percent and 2.7 percent higher respectively.

On the downside, miners were the biggest drag. The UK mining index , which surged more than 10 percent last week following Trump's pledge to invest a huge amount on U.S. infrastructure projects, fell 3.6 percent.

Antofagasta , Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton  and Anglo American  dropped 4.2 to 6.4 percent.

On the macroeconomic front, British shares showed little reaction after inflation data in the United Kingdom came in below forecasts.

Reference: Atul Prakash

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