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FTSE 100 hits fresh two-month high after mining gains

·3-min read

London’s top index hit its highest level in more than two months on Tuesday, with a good performance in the mining sector and a mixed response to UK employment data.

Mining giants Glencore, Rio Tinto and Anglo American topped the index with solid gains after Australian miner BHP announced record cash returns on soaring coal prices.

It comes a day after mining stocks weakened following disappointing data on China’s economy.

The gains helped lift the FTSE 100 which closed 26.91 points higher, or 0.36%, at 7,536.06 at the end of the day.

Meanwhile, official labour market statistics showed a record pay slump against soaring inflation, but the headlines failed to spook London markets.

“The latest jobs data provided grounds for both optimism and concern, with many concentrating on the collapse in real wages that was always a given thanks to a 40-year high for inflation,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trading platform IG.

“While July saw a record collapse in inflation adjusted wages, that comes off the back of a higher-than-expected average earnings figure that will cause concern at (the Bank of England).

“Thankfully, the UK is yet to see any significant pick-up in unemployment, thus ensuring that the current ‘technical recession’ remains some way off a fully blown recession with widespread job losses.”

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s top index also hit its highest point in two months during the day. The Dax closed the day 0.68% higher, while the French Cac 40 was up by 0.34%.

In the US, the markets reflected a positive mood in early trading with the S&P 500 up around 0.27% and Dow Jones lifting 0.73% when European markets closed.

The pound was down 0.05% against the dollar, at 1.2088, and down fractionally 0.01% against the euro, at 1.1881.

Brent crude oil prices remained under pressure following Monday’s weak economic numbers from China, which is one of the biggest buyers of natural resources. The price dropped 2.4% to 92.85 dollars per barrel.

In company news, shares in fashion brand Ted Baker jumped after it announced a £211 million takeover by Reebok and Juicy Couture owner, Authentic Brands.

It followed months of speculation over the takeover and represented a significant premium to the brand’s current share price. Shareholders were told a 110p per share deal was recommended.

Ted Baker’s share price was up 15.7p to 108.8p at the end of the day.

Meanwhile, Barratt Developments saw its shares slide after the UK watchdog announced it had dropped a leasehold investigation into the housebuilder.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it had insufficient evidence to take legal action over allegations it had mis-sold leasehold homes.

Barratt’s share price was down 4.9p to 482p when markets closed.

Shares in Watches of Switzerland moved slightly higher after the luxury watch retailer said its sales remained strong despite cost-of-living pressures.

The company told shareholders it was optimistic about future demand and that its Rolex Boutique on Bond Street would be relocating to a much larger showroom.

Shares in the retailer were up 14p at 898p when trading closed.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 were Glencore, up 20.3p to 484.8p, Rio Tinto, up 199.5p to 4,935p, Antofagasta, up 38p to 1,168.5p, Anglo American, up 94p to 2,995p, and B&M European, up 10.8p to 429.9p.

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 were Dechra Pharmaceuticals, down 114p to 3,516p, Mondi, down 46.5p to 1,627.5, Aveva, down 6p to 2,426p, Rightmove, down 17.4p to 637.6p, and Fresnillo, down 15.6 to 722.8.