FTSE 100 inches higher on miners boost
By Shashwat Chauhan and Shristi Achar A
(Reuters) -Britain's FTSE 100 edged up on Monday, as strength in mining stocks lifted the commodity-heavy index, while Frasers Group jumped after the retailer announced a share buyback programme.
The blue-chip index closed up 0.1%, trading above the 8,000-point mark. The domestically focussed FTSE 250 midcap index ended flat.
Frasers Group climbed 3.1% after the sports goods retailer said it intends to commence a new share buyback programme.
Industrial metal miners rose 2.7% as investors bet on a recovery in demand for copper and aluminium from top consumer China amid support from global mining supply disruptions. [MET/L]
Mining giants Anglo American plc and Rio Tinto plc were up nearly 4% and 3% respectively.
"A lot of it is probably stemming from the reopening we've seen in China," said Stuart Cole, head macro economist at Equiti Capital.
"The anticipation is that if we see Chinese manufacturing activity pick up, then we're going to see increasing demand for commodities and we're seeing it reflected in their stock prices."
On the flip side, packaging company DS Smith fell 4.9%, its biggest one day drop in nearly seven months, as BofA downgraded the stock, weighing on the FTSE 100.
The blue-chip index has risen nearly 7.5% so far this year, hitting a series of record highs on the way, supported by upbeat earnings, a weak pound and rising commodity prices.
Most European markets see-sawed on Monday, while the U.S. market was closed for the President's Day holiday.
Investor focus will also be on the flash composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data due on Tuesday, with expectations of domestic business activity in February to rise to 49 from 48.5 in January.
Among domestic stocks, Darktrace gained 3.5% after the cyber security company said it had commissioned a third-party review of its finances, weeks after a short-seller questioned its results.
Trifast plummeted 31.5% after the designing and engineering company said earnings would be "significantly below" expectations.
(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Alex Richardson)